Bronco Production Delayed Until October While Ford Replaces All Problematic MIC Tops
When the new Bronco was first announced, everyone naturally hoped it would arrive at the dealerships as soon as possible. In retrospect, while Ford did its best to make that happen, so far it's been a very bumpy road -- not only for the company, but for everyone involved in the process.
In a way, it makes sense that a vehicle like the Bronco, which is made for going over bumps, would have a rough start to its production cycle, but nobody expected that the process would be riddled with a series of delays, including a global pandemic and several supply issues.
Knowing just how numerous and significant the problems Ford has faced has been, it's actually admirable that Ford had managed to battle through most of them and bring the 2021 Bronco to its customers. At this point, Ford has now decided to take additional serious action and finally put a stop to the whole roof debacle, which has been one of the main issues plaguing this model since mid-2020.
Just as a reminder, the first production delay, which occurred almost a year ago, was due to Webasto's inability to deliver the MIC plastic hardtops it had been contracted with to produce within the agreed upon time frame.
When the roofs finally arrived, and Ford finalized OKTB status for the 2021 Bronco, owners then reported numerous issues with the hardtops, some of which were entirely unacceptable, such as delamination or bending.
So, after over a year of battling with Webasto and losing a lot of time and money, as well as damaging its reputation, in the process, Ford was forced to cancel that contract and look for another MIC and MOD (from 2023 model year) roof supplier.
Unfortunately, Ford’s problems didn’t end there. There was still an issue of almost 10,000 vehicles that were already completed and/or delivered, that featured faulty roofs. So Ford decided to take the difficult but correct step, temporarily shutting down Bronco production while announcing the replacement of every Bronco roof that had either already been delivered or was slated for production.
So what does this really mean? First of all, it means that Ford will stop production until a new supply of plastic roofs arrives. The manufacturer is confident that this will happen in October. However, since the 2022 Bronco model year production will start in December, some reservation holders may be moved to 2022.
In the meantime, Ford will replace each Webasto hardtop with a new one -- free of charge, of course. Even though this has made plenty of Bronco reservation holders angry, since it will delay the delivery of their vehicles for at least a couple of months, ultimately, they shouldn’t be entirely perturbed. Ford has acted responsibly and took the only proper course of action – to replace the faulty component and make the Bronco as awesome as it was originally intended to be.
Although this information is just a couple of days old and an official Ford memo had been sent to its dealers on August 12, 2021, we could tell that something has been going on at the MAP.
First, Ford canceled the Webasto contract about two months ago and has found a new supplier. Second, Bronco fans had spotted lots full of brand new Broncos waiting for delivery.
This was particularly strange, since the new Bronco has enjoyed nearly unparalleled interest from the car buying public, which means that every unit made is already destined to be delivered.
Why Ford decided to keep thousands of Broncos on its lots was very puzzling. Now we know why -- it's so that the company can replace the faulty roofs when they became available, with minimal fuss and exposure, and then finally deliver the vehicles to their owners with properly functioning hardtops.
The reason Ford decided to do this is pretty simple – it's simply the right thing to do. Sure, the move is painful and nerve-wracking for Ford, and it will cause even more delays, some order cancelations, and cost a significant amount of money.
However, despite the cost, it's the only logical solution, since neglecting these obvious problems would substantially damage Ford's reputation, almost certainly result in an expensive and embarrassing recall, and would potentially even end with a lawsuit, which Ford would, of course, want to avoid at all costs.
The downside is the fact that Bronco owners have lost most of their patience while waiting so long for their vehicles, but the upside is that they will not have to wait much longer, and when their Broncos finally arrive, they will be perfect.