Ford will reportedly keep on building the current F-150 pickup for about six months after start-of-production of the next-generation model in 2014.
The company hasn't confirmed those plans but it would seem like a prudent strategy given that truck sales have rebounded strongly and that all the F-150's major competitors have strong new product that will be produced at full-speed during Ford's changeover period.
Keeping current production going while the new truck gets on-line and up to speed will keep dealers' inventory levels up and ensure there is no problem of supply, as often happens when major changeovers take place. And, critically, it provides a hedge against start-up problems that often delay the launch rate of significantly new vehicles, as happened to Ford with its Fusion and Lincoln MKZ mid-size sedans.
When the current F-150 was launched in 2008, truck demand was not as strong as it is now so there was not the same urgency to maintain production levels.
Two Ford plants currently build the F-150, one in Kansas City, Missouri and one in Dearborn, Michigan. It is expected that the Dearborn factory will be the first to produce the new model.