The supplier of the Bronco's hardtops is raking it in.
For Webasto, the early days of Ford Bronco production were brutal. In addition to business constraints as a result of the pandemic, the supplier for Ford's Bronco tops was struggling with logistics as a result of the pandemic. "It took a lot of energy, nerves, and money," Webasto CEO Holger Engelmann said in the brand's yearly press conference.
At one point, things got so bad that Ford had to delay Bronco production because Webasto couldn't get the roofs for the brand's off-roader to Dearborn in a reasonable timeframe. Then, the quality problems started. Bronco owner forumswere soon packed with reports of quality issues, ranging in severity from peeling headliners to leaks. Eventually, Ford, or more accurately Webasto, had to replace every single top made up to that point.
The Bronco contract was huge for Webasto. Across the contract's almost decade-long lifespan, Webasto stands to net a cool $2 billion in revenue. Obviously, that means faulty roofs weren't part of the equation. Despite the huge revenue that'll be generated from the contract with Ford, Webasto still had to put up a lot of capital.
In total, the brand has put roughly $213 million into the Bronco's removable roof system. A feature, by the way, that owners love. It's easy to see why. The hardtops are comprised of four panels, all of which can be removed, placed in protective bags, and then securely stored in the Bronco's trunk. There's even room to spare.
Should you want, you can remove a single panel, leaving the other 75% of the roof covered. Offroad prowess aside, it's one of the SUV's best-loved features, at least if the forums are anything to go by.
Back to Webasto. The German firm estimated its contract with Dearborn will net it 20% of its overall sales in the Americas. From one vehicle. It's an astounding figure, and also speaks to the popularity of Ford's new SUV. All said and done, Webasto will build around a million roofs for the Bronco. For now, at least, things are running smoothly for Webasto.
The company is fulfilling its end of the contract, it's making money, and customers are happy. At least, the ones that get their new trucks are. Ford continues to battle semiconductor shortages, with Broncos sitting idle waiting for the silicon chips they need to run their computers. Mercifully, the roof doesn't require a single one.