Ford pauses online reservations for the Bronco amid production delays

Jordyn Grzelewski
The Detroit News

Ford Motor Co. has temporarily stopped taking online reservations for the Bronco amid high demand and production constraints that have slowed the rollout of the hotly-anticipated SUV.

Ford spokesman Said Deep on Monday confirmed that the Dearborn automaker recently sent a note to its dealers informing them that the company has "paused" its online reservation system for the full-size Bronco — but customers still can place orders directly through dealerships. The news first was reported by the Detroit Free Press.

Ford Broncos can be seen in a parking lot inside Ford’s Michigan Assembly Plant, in Wayne, August 17, 2021.

The halt in online reservations, according to Deep, is due in part to the website undergoing an update. He also acknowledged that an issue sourcing hard-top roofs for the vehicle is a factor. He said he expects the online system to potentially open back up in October, which is also when the automaker will open up orders for model year 2022 Broncos.

Shifting orders to dealerships could give customers additional information and visibility that the online system couldn't provide, Deep said. For example, a dealer would be able to alert a prospective customer if someone cancels an existing Bronco order, thus freeing up a model that's already been built. Dealers might also have insight into how customers can configure their Bronco order to potentially expedite production, as only certain configurations are affected by the production constraints.

Earlier this month, Ford announced that, due to quality issues, it will replace hardtop roofs on all Broncos, including those that have already been delivered and those awaiting delivery. The move means delays for customers whose Broncos have been built but not delivered, and for some customers whose vehicles haven't yet been assembled.

Due to this and other delays earlier this year, as well as high demand, Ford has said that model year 2021 will be abbreviated and some builds delayed until 2022.

The company said it identified cosmetic issues with molded-in color hard-top roofs from supplier Webasto. Soft-top orders are not affected, and production on those models continues. The automaker has told customers that it expects to receive replacement hard-top roofs in October.

Ford executives have spoken in recent months about their goal of generating a larger share of new-vehicle sales via online order banks. The automaker has taken online reservations for several of its new products, including the Mustang Mach-E, the all-electric F-150 Lightning and the Maverick pickup.

Twitter: @JGrzelewski