The 2021 Ford Bronco is much anticipated and has faced many obstacles in its release. The COVID-19 pandemic, trade tariffs, and more have pushed back production and roll-out dates. Buyers were surprised by late-night letters informing them of further delays. Frustrations are mounting, but overall excitement for the long-awaited SUV is still high.
Late-night letters surprise buyers
Ford Bronco buyers were surprised on May 15th to receive news of another delay. Ford Global Manufacturing and Labor Communications Manager Kelli Felker addressed the “adjustment” to the Detroit Free Press: “We are still on track. These letters are related specifically to the downtime that we announced.”
Many buyers were surprised by the late-night delivery. After so many frustrating delays, this most recent announcement is unwelcome. The letters did include specific delivery dates for owners. These dates were pushed back by two to three weeks.
Some buyers were understanding. After months of major delays, a few more weeks has been described as a “hiccup.” Others have had enough and are fed up. One commenter humorously noted, “at least [Ford is] consistent!” It’s clear that buyers are unhappy, but there is little evidence of a shift in brand loyalty.
Many buyer comments showed empathy for automakers. These delays are largely out of their hands. Some mentioned acceptance that these days “everything takes a bit more time”.
The 2021 Bronco’s release has been rocky, to say the least
The last year has thrown unprecedented challenges at the automotive industry. Brands have been rocked by massive losses and major production delays. Ford was not spared from the fall out. It’s estimated that the brand will lose tens of millions of Bronco delays alone.
Ford started 2021 with Bronco delays already announced. The light crossover edition was slated to hit showrooms in Spring. This release was pushed to Summer. The Sasquatch manual transmission package will be pushed to the next year’s 2022 model.
Webatso, Ford’s supplier for the Bronco’s removable roof, was also impacted by the tumultuous market. Production was put on hold while Ford waited on Webatso parts pushing. These delays added further frustration for diehard Bronco fans who waited decades for the rerelease.
When can buyers expect markets to return to normal
Ford’s Bronco delays are par for the course in today’s automotive industry. The COVID-19 pandemic necessitated industry-wide shutdowns. This meant a halt in new model production as well as a shortage of components for current models.
Controversial U.S. trade tariffs against China have caused a global shortage of computer chips. This set back the release of many new models, the 2021 Bronco included. These policies have impacted many industries across the global market. COVID-19 related silicon shortages have exacerbated the shortage.
Questions are flying about when consumers can expect these industries to return to normal. The answer to that is complex. Chip shortages are likely to continue into 2023. Experts expect the automotive industry to bounce back along a similar timeline. Some feel things could significantly improve before then.