Customers are having their 2016 Ford Focus RS
orders cancelled, and the automaker is giving differing reasons as to why, depending on who you ask.
Ford is telling dealers and buyers who placed orders for Ford’s hottest hatch that they’ll receive 2017 models instead. This, for a model Ford said it could build as many as customers wanted.
Ford produces the 350-horsepower, all-wheel-drive Focus RS
at its Saarlouis plant in Germany. The sought-after model arrived stateside this spring, with the automaker promising not to limit production.
According to emails obtained by TTAC, a Los Angeles dealer had three of its pending 2016 Focus RS
orders cancelled by Ford and moved to the 2017 model year. That could mean months of delays for customers as they wait for next year’s deliveries.
The reason given to the dealer by a Ford rep for the cancellations? 'Economic turmoil in Europe' that forced the Saarlouis plant to shut down, limiting production volume.
However, when TTAC asked Ford representative Dan Jones about the email, he stated 220 orders were cancelled simply because Ford couldn’t keep up with demand before a planned summer factory shutdown.
'We frequently adjust daily production to be aligned with market demand,' Jones said. 'Focus RS demand around the globe has exceeded expectations, so these 220 customer units that were scheduled for 16MY build, are now going to be rescheduled into 17MY, and as these orders will be prioritized, customers will experience almost no delay in delivery of their vehicle.'
There’s a big gap between planned maintenance and 'economic turmoil.'
Would-be Focus RS buyers have expressed frustration over constantly changing delivery timetables on online enthusiast forums.
One Australian Focusrs.org
forum user was told the vehicle’s planned August build would be moved to November, while another had his pushed from July to September. Another user sought answers for why his Focus RS build date went from June to August, and then to October. 'Your build date can move around until it is finally locked in when a VIN is assigned,' said a Ford Australia representative.
At some point in the summer, the German plant shuts down for a worker’s holiday. When pressed, the user’s Ford rep claimed the plant shut down for a week in early July. That rep returned to say the plant would be shut down for summer maintenance from July 25 to August 19.
When asked about the shutdown timing, Jones said workers will return to Saarlouis after a three-week holiday on August 15.
Time will tell what the delivery delay amounts to, if anything, or whether dealers and customers experience further frustration. For an automaker, it’s still better to deal with the fallout of a model with overwhelming demand than, say, a Chrysler 200