DETROIT — Ford Motor Co. will begin delivering its highly anticipated 2021 Bronco SUV to customers in June, although some hardtop roof options are being further delayed to the 2022 model year because of issues with roof supplier Webasto.
The automaker on Thursday shared the latest production updates in separate letters to customers and dealers. It promised to compensate affected customers for the roof delays with FordPass Rewards points, off-road school vouchers and free accessories that could cost Ford tens of millions of dollars.
Ford said it has turned roughly 125,000 of the 190,000 Bronco deposits in the U.S. and Canada into firm orders, a 66 percent conversion rate. Of those orders, 73 percent are for the four-door model. More than 60 percent of customers have chosen the larger 2.7-liter V-6 engine, and the four most expensive trims account for 70 percent of orders, Ford says.
Roughly 18 percent of orders are for the manual transmission, which is available with the standard 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine.
Mark Grueber, a Ford marketing manager, told Automotive News that the company was "extremely happy" with the initial conversion rate.
"That number is only going to be going up," he said. "It's a fantastic conversion rate and reinforces how excited customers are. They're very passionate about the Bronco and can't wait to get it."
The roof supply issues mean some owners will have to wait a bit longer, though.
The automaker said two optional roof choices — the "modular painted" hard top and "dual roof" — would be delayed until the 2022 model year. Ford previously delayed the Bronco's launch until this summer because of roof supply issues.
Grueber said Broncos with the base "molded-in-color" hard top will be available at launch. Grueber said customers have until April 8 to make any changes to their orders in light of the new roof option delays.
To make up for the issues, Ford said certain U.S. customers will receive up to $1,000 worth of FordPass Rewards points that they can use for oil changes, accessories or other purchases. It also will offer price protection to buyers who are forced to wait until the 2022 model year.
Ford said all Bronco customers in the U.S. will get a voucher, worth $250, for the company's off-road driving school called the Bronco Off-Roadeo. Additionally, any U.S. customer who ordered a hard top will receive a $450 sound-deadening headliner for free.
Compensation could vary for Canadian buyers, a Ford spokesman said.
"We're just trying to make it right for the customer," Grueber said. "We wish we could get all their Broncos to them tomorrow, but we want to thank them for their loyalty and patience."
Ford plans to invest millions at its Michigan Assembly Plant to boost Bronco production to meet its orders, but the company declined to provide specifics.