For quite some time, thousands of completed Ford Broncos are sitting outside a parking lot outside Ford's assembly plant in Michigan, all finished and fully constructed, yet not ready for the sales floor. Demand is high, as Broncos compare to the Defender or the Chevy Blazer. As many eager and anxious customers await the arrival of their Broncos, these vehicles gather snow, earning the parking lot the nickname of “ice mountain.” But how did these Broncos come to be here and how much longer will they stay? What is preventing them from their eventual arrival on the sales floor?
Read on to find out more about why these inert Broncos are being held in stasis.
Blame The Semiconductor Shortage
Because of the Semiconductor Shortage, an essential electronic component is missing from each of the completed Broncos. This single ingredient - semiconductor chips - is the key to turning these inactive Broncos into road-ready Broncos, and is why these already-constructed models are sitting in wait. Unfortunately, the chip shortage has been going on for nearly two years with little news of an end in sight.
Even worse, Ford is a victim of their own success, as the successful redesign and reintroduction led to high demand for the new Bronco - a demand that Ford has been unable to meet because of the shortage. As a result, thousands of completed Broncos lay in wait outside this “ice mountain.” Despite this setback, Ford has tried to complete as many models as possible minus the missing chips.
Ford aims to keep an open line of communication to prospective and existing buyers about the status of their vehicles, though many customers criticize Ford for poorer communication and think they could be doing a better job. It doesn't help that in the fall of 2021, complications with the molded-in-color hardtop delayed deliveries. Ford also had a similar strategy in place last year - building what can be built without the essential chips - only it was done with the F-150 instead of with the Bronco.
Customer Frustration Imminent
As a result of the backlog, customers are getting increasingly impatient with the arrival of their Broncos, although Ford has stated the completed models should take no more than three months to be sent to customers. Buyers have been signed up for Bronco purchasing for the last two years, so there was already a queue, and chip shortages didn't help matters.
And with defective tops complicating matters in the summer of 2021, the backlog of customers has worsened. Customers also worry that these brand-new Broncos will be damaged when inclement weather arrives. Many customers also say communication with Ford has been inconsistent at best as their patience diminishes further. Once the semiconductor chips are ready, they will be installed into the pre-constructed vehicles on-site in the lot before being shipped out of the “ice mountain” (or “dirt mountain” in the summer). In order to assuage the affected customers unhappy with the delay, Ford has given said customers apology gifts for the time being.
Ford Bronco: Production Cut
The shortage had another secondary effect, as Ford announced production on several of its models will cease production. Ford proceeded with Bronco production despite adequate semiconductor chip supply, with completed models sitting in wait for chips to arrive. Ford believes this is still the superior strategy, as opposed to not building Broncos at all. That said, other Ford models are halting production or cutting back production at Ford's Michigan, Illinois, Missouri, and Mexico plants. Affected models include the Explorer, F-150, Ranger, and Mustang Mach-E.
Ford Allocations & Miscommunications
In light of this situation, Ford decided to reallocate efforts and resources. Sadly, this has resulted in a lot of misinformation being spread and miscommunications emerging afterward. Orders were not filled on a first-come-first-serve basis as expected. Ford took a different strategy, giving production priority to customers meeting other qualifications.
For example, 50% of production is for reservation holders, 25% is dependent upon dealer location, and the last 25% factors in a dealer's historic sales figures. Sales for the Bronco Sport later altered the formula further, and multiple miscommunications arose after the allocation formula changed once again, making it so 40% of new Broncos go to the highest bidder after the percentage for reservation holders was lowered. 0% of new Broncos go to the highest bidder after the percentage for reservation holders was lowered.
As a result, customers who ordered Broncos as far back as 2020 still have yet to see their new vehicles, while other customers who ordered theirs more recently have obtained possession months ago. This has also fueled more negative opinions toward Ford, as well as create more customer frustration regarding miscommunication, according to Autoblog. Ford is still working on attempts to maximize production and keeping up the level of quality in the process.
Sources: zerohedge.com, autoevolution.com, powernationtv.com, tflcar.com, autoblog.com,