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Ford Bronco goes from annoying to profitable for Webasto

Helping Ford launch the Bronco was a major challenge for Webasto.

“It took a lot of energy, nerves and money,” CEO Holger Engelmann said last week at the German supplier’s annual press conference. However, he added that the situation was under control.

The issue included Ford being forced to delay production of the SUV after coronavirus-related logistical issues hampered Webasto’s ability to outfit its Michigan plant in time to manufacture the vehicle’s removable roof, Automotive News Europe sister post Automotive News reported end of 2020.

Another setback came last summer when Ford said it had to replace all hardtops made up to that point due to quality issues, my colleague Mike Martinez pointed out.

Ford continues to struggle with enough Broncos delivered to customers, but this delay is due to the shortage of chips. Despite this, Ford sold 13,113 Broncos in the United States in April – the most of any month since its launch in June 2021.

Webasto needed to get it right with Ford given the size of the Bronco contract.

The deal will generate $2 billion in sales for Webasto over its eight-year life (2018-26).

Webasto estimates the Bronco will account for 20% of its overall sales in its Americas region, which includes Canada and Mexico, starting this year and for years to come.

Webasto plans to build 1 million roof systems for the Bronco, which has six variants ranging from soft tops to hard tops to dual tops.

By the end of this year, Webasto will have invested around 200 million euros in the Bronco project.