Impacted by the ongoing global chip shortage, Ford has said it will begin selling some of its Explorer SUVs without particular features, but added that customers can have the necessary components fitted later once the chips became available.
The news was first reported by Automotive News in a report citing a meeting between Ford executives and dealers on Saturday, March 14.
The plan has since been confirmed by a Ford spokesperson who told the Detroit Free Press that the move is designed to expedite the delivery of the Explorer to customers, adding that it does not impact any safety features linked to the SUV.
However, the absence of the electronics means that the vehicles will ship without functionality for the Explorer’s rear seat controls that operate heating, ventilation, and air conditioning, though these features will be controllable from the driver’s seat.
Customers taking delivery of the vehicles will be notified by their dealer when the chips become available so they can take their carin to have the technology fitted. This should happen within the next 12 months, Ford said.
Those agreeing to take delivery of an Explorer without its full functionality will be offered a discount on the cost of the vehicle.
As Automotive News pointed out, Ford’s move appears to be a variation of an idea the automaker first explored last summer when it considered asking dealers to store partially built vehicles until the missing components became available.
Now, though, Ford has advanced the plan, deeming it OK to offer the SUVs to customers who agree to bring in their new vehicle at a later date for the installation of the necessary components that will give their automobile its full functionality.
The move will help Ford to clear its factory sites for new vehicles, with dealers able to do the same, so neither will have to deal with lots clogged with cars waiting for parts.
Last year, the global chip shortage prompted Ford to offer some of its new F-150 pickups without the start/stop fuel-conservation feature while the automaker waited for the relevant chips to come in. Owners were offered a $50 credit for the inconvenience. Tesla also hit the headlines toward the end of last year when it emerged that some Model 3 and Model Y cars were shipping to customers ehile missing USB-C ports, with the electric-car maker promising to install them once the components became available.
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