Some New Bronco Buyers Still Don’t Have Build Dates, Ford Cites “Achilles Heel” Hardtops

UPDATE 5/28/21: It’s been a frustrating few months for prospective Ford Bronco buyers, who’ve experienced a litany of delays, including plant shutdowns in May related to the semiconductor chip shortage. But the most vexing problem of all remains the removable hardtops supplied by Webasto, which has been hit hard by coronavirus-related delays, according to the Automotive News report cited in the previous update from March. The latest communication with some customers who have ordered Broncos makes it clear the hardtop issue hasn’t been solved.

While Ford has promised owners would receive build dates by May, many haven’t, or have had their orders pushed back. An email sent out today to owners whose vehicles are affected by hardtop delays reveals that a build date will not be forthcoming. The email, provided to MotorTrend by a Bronco customer, states that “we unfortunately can’t provide you with a definitive delivery window.” The message says that future emails will let customers know when their vehicle is scheduled for production, built, and shipped to the dealer. 

According to the email, the hardtop—”our Achilles heel in this launch”—is to blame, with insufficient production capacity to “match up with the actual orders we received.” In return, Ford is offering affected customers free access to its off-road driving experience, known as Bronco Off-Roadeo, as well as other unspecified Bronco events in various areas across the country. Previous updates and the original story from December 2020 regarding the Bronco’s initial delay is below.

UPDATE 3/29/21: Given the various supply chain challenges facing all automakers, perhaps it’s not surprising that certain Ford Broncos have been delayed further as of late March, according to Automotive News. Issues with a supplier of hard tops, Webasto, is causing additional delays to some Broncos, pushing them into the 2022 model year. The issue affects two types of tops for the Bronco: the “modular painted” hard top and the “dual roof” option. According to the report, owners whose Broncos have been delayed will be compensated with $1,000 worth of some combination of Ford Pass rewards points, vehicle accessories, and the like. Hard top customers will get a $450 sound-deadening headliner for free, and all Bronco customers will get a $250 voucher for Ford’s off-road driving school. There is no projected new date for delivery of the affected vehicles.  

We had to wait decades for the return of the Ford Bronco SUV, and now we’re going to have to wait a little bit longer. Ford has confirmed to MotorTrend the coronavirus pandemic and its associated chaos has caused a supply-chain issue that will push the 2021 Bronco launch to the end of next summer rather than this coming spring, as originally planned.

A spokesman told us, “Ford is committed to building Broncos with the quality our customers expect and deserve.” Ford declined to name the affected suppliers.

Customers can still build the Bronco of their dreams on Ford’s website—we did!—but official orders from reservation holders are now not being accepted until the middle of January, a delay of approximately a month. Those orders will now be able to be finalized through March 19 rather than at the previous January deadline. (If you’re one of the lucky few who has a reservation—or even if you’re not—check out what to expect in our First Ride review.)

While the big-boy Bronco is delayed, Ford’s launch of the Bronco Sport—a smaller, front-drive-based off-roader that uses the same architecture as the Escape—has been unaffected, and those SUVs are at dealers now.

This story was originally published on December 4, 2020, and has been updated with the latest information.

(With Inputs from motortrend)

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