The brand will not be excluding any safety features, so the cars will be drivable.
By now it is no secret that Ford, much like many other manufacturers, is struggling with the low supply of semiconductor chips that started as a knock-on result from the coronavirus pandemic; we've already seen an entire lot of Ford Bronco units that cannot be shipped because they have not been fitted with the crucial chips that provide the computing abilities for key comfort and safety functions. Things weren't helped by the trucker protests that delayed resources even further.
But in response to these supply chain issues, some manufacturers are simply shipping cars to customers without some features that rely on the chips. It looks like Ford may be joining this group fairly soon.
According to Automotive News, Ford's dealership network has been informed by executives of the company that its products will be sold to customers without some non-safety-related features that rely on the semiconductor chip. The brand toyed with this idea some nine months ago but now, as a means to alleviate strain on the current inventory crisis, it will be executing the strategy.
These models will essentially be partially built as per the company's standards but every unit will be suitable for driving. Once the flow of semiconductor chips improves, customers may take their cars back to the dealership for the necessary features to be retrofitted. This is expected to take place within one year of delivery.
The Ford executives were quiet about which models would be affected and when it would roll this program out. Speaking about the new strategy, Ford spokesman Said Deep said, "We are offering ways for our customers to get their vehicles sooner during the global semiconductor shortage."
In the official statement, he added that some customers were already given the option of ordering an F-150 without auto stop-start. Some Ford Explorers will also be built without rear-seat heating and possibly air conditioning at a reduced price but the feature could be added at a later stage without charge to the customer for the inconvenience.