<title> Japan Earthquake Puts a Threat to the Availability of the Popular Ford Trucks</title>

Japan Earthquake Puts a Threat to the Availability of the Popular Ford Trucks

On the introduction of the Model T, Henry Ford made a witty remark that the drivers can have it in “any color, as long as it is black”. Right now it seems the ironic twist of fate, that the customers are hardly able to get a 2011 Ford F-150 with a black exterior.

2011 Ford F-150:
2011 Ford F-150

Ford Motor Company was forced to instruct its dealers to stop taking new orders for the cars in tuxedo black color because of the limited access to the paint pigment exported from Japan. On March 15 the enormous earthquake of the 9.0 magnitude shook the northern part of Japan and the natural disaster made it impossible for the Merck KGaA, the sole producer of a paint pigment for such car manufacturers as Ford and Chrysler Group, to operate its Japanese factory as it was located too close to a nuclear reactor damaged by the quake. It was anticipated that it would take up to four weeks or more to start the factory again after the company engineers reach the access to the facility. And that particular plant produced Xirallic, the pigment that used to give metallic paints a glistening look.

2011 Ford F-150 Harley Davidson:
2011 Ford F-150 Harley Davidson

2011 Ford F-150 Harley Davidson

That is why on March 25, Ford decided that the dealers could no longer order any more metallic tuxedo black and several shades of metallic reds due to the shortage of Xirallic. For the same reason, six other metallic colors will go out of Ford Motor Co’s production lineup: bordeaux reserve, lava red, sangria red, earth, kona blue and bright magenta. To minimize the adverse effect of this decision on the automobile market, Ford is going to replace those colors with similar metallic shades so that the customers could still have a wide range of colors to choose from. What is more, the color replacement is not going to affect the vehicle pricing.

2011 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor SuperCrew
Ford F-150 SVT Raptor SuperCrew

Ford F-150 SVT Raptor SuperCrew

Ford F-150 SVT Raptor SuperCrew

However, the news when the selected vehicles and colors will go out of production and when they will be replaced by similar colors is yet to be announced. For now, it is certain that Ford will replace tuxedo black on 2011 models with a nonmetallic black. This will include the Ford F-150 and Super Duty pickups, the Ford Taurus and Lincoln MKS sedans, Ford Explorer crossover, Lincoln Navigator and the Ford Expedition SUVs. In turn, the metallic reds are available on Navigator, the Ford Econoline van, 2012 Ford Focus compact, the Ford Ranger pickup, the Super Duty and Expedition. The red fire color is to be replaced by toreador red, said Ford spokesman, Todd Nissen. All the replacement colors that are going to be used are paints Ford has already used in the past and now offers on certain vehicles, like the Mustang’s black. Unfortunately, in case of tuxedo black, Ford couldn’t get a similar metallic formulation in a short period of time which resulted in using the same black color it has everywhere in its lineup instead, while still working on a metallic replacement.
Despite all the difficulties, Ford spokesmen, Todd Nissen remains optimistic about the future and doesn’t expect that the whole process of color replacement will hurt sales. And once the Japanese factory starts working again, all the original metallic colors are going to be reintroduced to the lineup eventually.

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