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Ford Gives Bronco Customers Options For Waiting

For the last couple of years, since the order books were opened, many Ford Bronco customers have had to wait until there was sufficient supply to allow the automaker to turn customer reservations into full orders. That hasn't happened, as Ford doesn't have the inventory to meet the demand. Ford will offer customers options if they don't want to wait.

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When Ford took a chance and launched its retro SUV, the Bronco, the automaker didn’t know whether it was a good move. The Bronco was the project of a corporate-wide number of supporters who never gave up on the SUV, even after the automaker stopped making it in 1996.

Background Of The New Bronco

The signs that there was support for a Bronco-like vehicle had support within Ford. Indeed, they were never far from the surface and when prototype Broncos started appearing on exhibit stands as far back as 2016 or so one had to assume that there was an underground movement forcefully pushing for the Bronco to make a comeback.

Indeed, after the protos were shown off and potential customers weighed in positively on a renewal of the Bronco, there was little the automaker could do, and the project gained corporate support. By 2019, there were signs that the Bronco was moving along briskly. In 2020, newer prototypes appeared at Ford auto show exhibitions, exciting potential buyers who yearned for a renewed Bronco.

The Bronco made its official debut about a year later. When they appeared in early 2021, the striking feature of the new Bronco was that it looked a lot like the original Bronco that debuted nearly half a century before as a squared-off, two-door SUV. Though very updated, the Bronco, which debuted as a sub-brand of Ford, the Bronc looked a lot like the first-gen SUV.

Ford had no way of knowing whether they had made a good investment or whether it was just a shot in the dark. Waiting on tenterhooks, the automaker quickly discovered that it was a huge hit, with demand racing off the charts. Ford opened the order books for the Bronco, allowing customers to put down $100 to reserve a spot. That reservation was turned into an order for those customers.

Ford Shuts Down Its Order Books

Quickly, Ford found that the demand for the popular SUV was huge, and it had to shut down the 2021 order books. The automaker reopened the order books later that year for 2022 and almost as quickly had to shut them down again as many potential buyers waited to place their reservations. Ford quickly cut things off again as they ran out of places in the reservation lists. And, when they re-opened them not too long ago, the same situation existed.

Now Ford has a happy problem. There are just too many customers who want the new Broncos. Or, as Car & Driver (C/D) reports. “The problem – admittedly a good one to have – is that demand for the Ford Bronco has remained strong … since it debuted.”

As related by C/D, Ford has been challenged by “supply-chain and production challenges that have meant that Ford has had to repeatedly delay Bronco orders. Now, Ford is going to force,” in the automaker’s words, “a ‘small number of existing reservation and order holders’ who have ordered by have not yet received their 2023 Bronco to choose four options, none of which will result in these customers getting the vehicles they ordered.’”

C/D, quoting Cars Direct, noted that Ford “has sent an incentive bulletin to dealers that offers anyone who’s ordered a 2023 Bronco a $2,500 discount if they switch to another Ford model. The 2023-Model Bronco Cancel and Purchase Replacement Offer says Ford is prepared to give ‘an additional incentive to cancel their current 23MY Bronco Order and retail order an eligible 23MY Ford the switch to one of seven other Ford models before April. 3. The qualifying list of non-Bronco vehicles includes the Escape, Bronco Sport, the Edge , the Explorer, the Expedition, the Ranger, and the F-150.” Three models aren't included, the Mustang Mach-E, the F-150 Tremor, and the Raptor.

Models Not Included In Plan

The Mustang Mach-E, the F-150 Tremor, and the Raptor apparently do not qualify.

According to Ford, the “causes of the problems are, unsurprisingly, ongoing supply-chain challenges. The missing parts mean that certain ‘constrained features’ like the Sasquatch and Lux packages on the Molded in Color Hard Top, are not going to be available for 2023 model Bronco customers who ordered customers who ordered them and have not yet received their vehicle.”

Ford spokesman Mike Levine told C/D that “Customers who remove constrained features are expected to receive a 2022 model year Bronco along with a $2,500 rebate toward purchase or lease in addition to existing MSRP price protection they may have.”

Per C/D, “Customers who don't want to modify their reservation will have to accept one of four options. As mentioned, there's the $2,500 rebate. Customers can cancel their reservation and get their original $100 deposit back. Third, they can try to find a ‘suitable Bronco’ at a dealer that happens to have one. Finally, they can just cancel their order and place a new one for a 2024 Bronco.”

Ford Reveals Program Parameters

Levine continued that if Ford is “not able to schedule a reservation or order for production, it will be canceled for the 2023 model year, and their $100 reservation deposit will be refunded automatically.”

The automotive magazine points out that “one problem with all of this is that no one can order a new Bronco at the moment. While the configurator remains active, Ford's consumer site also says, "Due to high demand, the current model year [2023 Bronco] is no longer available for retail order. Limited inventory may be available at selected dealers." C/D pointed out that there’s no way to order a 2024 model. Indeed, Ford’s site says, “[Bronco] supplies are limited, and there are no guarantees."

Ford Motor Photo

Marc Stern has been an automotive writer since 1971 when an otherwise normal news editor said, "You're our new car editor," and dumped about 27 pounds of auto stuff on my desk. I was in heaven as I have been a gearhead from my early days. As a teen, I spent the usual number of misspent hours hanging out at gas stations (a big thing in my youth) and working on cars. From there on, it was a straight line to my first column for the paper "You Auto Know," an enterprise I handled faithfully for 32 years. Not many people know that I also handled computer documentation for a good part of my earnings while writing YAN. My best writing, though, was always in cars. My work has appeared in Popular Mechanics, Mechanix Illustrated, AutoWeek, SuperStock, Trailer Life, Old Cars Weekly, Special Interest Autos, etc. You can follow me on: Twitter or Facebook.

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