Ford intends to start selling understaffed Explorer lineup SUVs in the near future. They will come without the chips that control the rear air conditioning and heated rear seats. Instead, later this year the company will supply the missing components to dealers, who will install the missing components in vehicles after the sale.
Air conditioning and heating can still be controlled from the front seats, and customers who buy cars with temporarily limited functionality will receive discounts, according to a company spokesman. However, Ford does not intend to refuse the sale of vehicles even if they are not fully equipped.
Originally, the carmaker had planned to start deliveries of understaffed cars that weren’t ready for action last year, but now it’s changed plans – at least the current season’s cars will be on the road. One such “strategy” is an attempt to unload the warehouses of production facilities, which are sometimes occupied by unfinished machines. Last month, for example, hundreds of Ford Broncos were seen taking up space outside the company’s Michigan plant, all without chips.
Like many other companies, Ford is trying to cope with disruptions in chip supply. Due to a lack of semiconductors, the company had to reduce production of the popular F-150 pickups last year (and also this month). After that, the company began to sell partially understaffed models of this brand with reduced functionality. In return, Ford gave buyers a $50 rebate.
Other American automakers were also affected. For example, GM began selling cars without wireless chargers, HD radios, and fuel management modules that allowed pickup trucks to use fuel more efficiently. Tesla, meanwhile, was selling some cars without USB ports — you could install them later. The premium market was also hit as Cadillac dropped autopilots in the new Escalades and BMW began shipping some cars without touchscreens.