Ford Motor Co intends to deliver and sell partially built vehicles waiting for semiconductors or related components that control critical unsafe features.
The plan is a revision of an idea presented in the past, in which Ford considered delivering partially built vehicles to dealers to stay on their lots until the parts become available. Now, according to people, the partially built vehicles that Ford will send to dealers will be able to be driven and sold.
Ford said it would send the necessary chips within a year for dealers to install them in the products sold, people said.
It was not immediately clear when the carmaker will start delivering and selling the partially built vehicles, and dealers who attended the meeting said the company did not discuss the license plates involved.
In other words, Ford will build the Explorer model without the rear seat heating controls that could be added later.
“We offer our customers ways to get their vehicles earlier during the global semiconductor shortage,” said Said Deep, a spokesman.
He said Ford had previously offered customers the option to order the F-150 without the automatic stop and start function. In the case of the Explorer model, buyers will receive a price reduction for the change, Deep said, and Ford will restore free control of the heating and air conditioning of the rear seat passengers at a later date.
The carmaker has tried to find ways to reduce the excess of unfinished vehicles that gather in batches around its production plants. Most recently, what appeared to be hundreds, if not thousands of Bronco models, were gathering in Michigan. Ford said the arrears are related to chips and that it plans to deliver those vehicles within three months, pending the availability of parts.
The continuing lack of chips has forced a number of carmakers to eliminate certain features to speed up deliveries to customers.
Late last year, General Motors said it would remove popular features, such as heated seats, from much of its range, later saying that customers who ordered vehicles that lack this feature could add it later.