Ford pauses online reservations for the Bronco

Ford Motor Co. has temporarily stopped taking online reservations for the Bronco due to high demand and production constraints that have delayed the rollout of the highly anticipated SUV.

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

The discontinuation of online reservations is partly due to the fact that the website is undergoing an update, according to Deep. He also acknowledged that a problem in purchasing hardtop roofs for the vehicle is a factor. He said he expects the online system may reopen in October, which is also when the automaker will open orders for the 2022 model year Broncos.

Moving orders to dealers can give customers additional information and visibility that the online system couldn’t provide, Deep said. For example, a dealer could alert a potential customer if someone cancels an existing Bronco order, freeing up a model that has already been built. Dealers may also have insight into how customers can configure their Bronco order to potentially speed up production, as only certain configurations are affected by the production constraints.

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

Because of these and other delays earlier this year, as well as high demand, Ford has said that model year 2021 will be shortened and some builds delayed to 2022.

The company said it discovered cosmetic problems with tinted hardtop roofs from supplier Webasto. Soft top orders will not be affected and production of those models will continue. The automaker has told customers it expects replacement hardtop roofs in October.

Ford executives have been talking in recent months about their goal to drive a greater share of new vehicle sales through online order banks. The automaker has made online reservations for several of its new products, including the Mustang Mach-E, the all-electric F-150 Lightning and the Maverick pickup.

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