The 2021 Ford Bronco launch hasn’t exactly been a smooth one, as production on certain variants have repeatedly been delayed, mostly due to COVID-19 related fallout. Aside from the ongoing chip shortage, which has forced The Blue Oval to pause production at most of its facilities at times, its suppliers are struggling too. Chief among them is Webasto, a multinational corporation that manufactures roofs for several automakers, including Ford. The company has had a hell of a time rising to the challenge of supplying roofs for the Bronco, and will continue to do so for the next several months, but by 2023, its current situation could be a distant memory, as Automotive News reports that a second plant is on the way.
Ford Authority has extensively covered the production hiccups that have prevented The Blue Oval from shipping out as many 2021 Ford Bronco SUVs as it possibly can, including the most recent quality related issue with the molded-in color hardtops. Every example of that specific roof will be replaced by Ford, a move that will ultimately push back production on new units of the Bronco, as that part is the only roof available on two-door Broncos, in addition to being a desirable option for the four-door variant as well. Both Ford and Webasto seem to be in sync, at least when it comes to rectifying customers complaints with the roofs, and in a statement about the hardtops, the supplier confirmed that a second plant will come online at some point in the future.
“The imperfections are microscopic, do not affect the functionality of the roof and are exposed in heavy rain and humidity. We found it and have now put in corrective steps. To meet the high demand and increase roof production capacity, we will build another new production location in southeastern Michigan,” said the company.
In the near term, this likely won’t satisfy many 2021 Ford Bronco order holders, especially ones that want the most desirable options. As Ford Authority has previously detailed, production issues are preventing Ford from churning out other variants too, like examples equipped with the Ford 2.7L EcoBoost V6 and the Sasquatch Package. Nevertheless, it’s a potential sign that someday, things could get better for people wanting to get into Ford’s off-roader.
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Ford has some incredible products coming to market and they can’t get it right. The questions Ford has to answer are: What can they screw up next? Why do you announce a product that won’t appear for a year? Then why do you delay the product because of manufacturing problems? You lose the confidence of the buying public. You eventually lose their sales. And then you eventually…
Yesterday I received a VIN and scheduled build week for my painted-roof-delete-in-lieu-of-softtop-only. Lord only knows when (2023?) I will be able to buy any hardtop let alone the one I want and eventually be able to add roof racks. Softtop only or even roof removed and top less the only option for a kayak is a stand up rear hitch carrier – or fold down the windshield, oh wait, I would need a Jeep for that.