Ford is facing a crisis. Like all automakers, it’s a problem on dual fronts: on one hand, there are inventory-starved dealers who need vehicles to sell, and on the other, there are parking lots with vehicles piling up that aren’t finished because of the lack of computer chips. Things have gotten so desperate that, as Automotive News reports, Ford is just saying “screw it,” choosing to ship and sell these unfinished vehicles and install the missing features at a later date.
The move comes as dealers are getting desperate as their lots go almost empty. Dealers need cars, and there are plenty of cars sitting in lots near Ford facilities in the midwest — they just don’t have chips. In a dealer meeting in Vegas, Ford outlined its plan but didn’t give a timetable as to when it would actually start sending these vehicles to dealers.
“We are offering ways for our customers to get their vehicles sooner during the global semiconductor shortage,” Ford spokesperson Said Deep said in a statement.
So if you’re in the market for an Explorer, it looks like your vehicle won’t be equipped with rear climate control. Ford also mentioned it had given customers the option to order their F-150s without auto start/stop (a feature I don’t think too many people would miss anyway). But Ford will install the features “at a later date” or within a year. Thankfully, this will all be done free of charge, and Ford will be giving the vehicles discounts because of the lack of features.
These moves show just how impactful the chip shortage has been on automakers and the lengths that some are willing to go to to get dealers and customers their vehicles. While the features customers are missing out on because of the shortage are small things most people won’t miss, keep your fingers crossed that this doesn’t get worse. I wouldn’t want a car having a useless 10-inch touchscreen.