The semiconductor shortage has forced automakers to creatively, selectively forgo certain features and components from cars, just to be able to get vehicles in people’s driveways. Sometimes genuinely useful or desirable comforts are lost, like heated seats or start-stop tech, and it’s a real drag. Other times, it’s features of little consequence, like built-in GPS navigation. 2022 model year Ford Broncos will reportedly ditch the latter, according to a report published Monday.
Sure, the slate of 2022 Broncos have pretty much been spoken for. However, Ford is still working through manufacturing them and, as Ford Authority tells us, is planning to nix navigation from vehicles built after May 2, hopefully with an appropriate cost adjustment to match. The article reads:
The 2022 Bronco lineup will lose its optional factory navigation system option beginning with Job 2 production, which applies to all models built on or after May 2, 2022, though that date is subject to change. This feature is currently available as an option on Big Bend, Black Diamond, and Badlands trims as part of the Mid Package (222A equipment group) and is standard on Badlands trims equipped with the High (333A) or Lux Package (334A), as well as Outer Banks and Wildtrak trims. Factory navigation is not available on Base-trimmed Bronco models.
Furthermore, Ford Authority claims that for whatever reason, the Blue Oval won’t be able to simply add nav back in once it gets a supply of the relevant parts as it has done on some other models. That might be frustrating, if your phone couldn’t already handle navigation duties for you.
I made the mistake of scrolling down to read the comments underneath that Ford Authority post, and was surprised to find a handful of prospective Bronco owners outraged over the reported omission. CarPlay and Android Auto are free after all, and include navigation apps that typically work better and are easier to understand than what’s embedded in most automakers’ infotainment systems. Meanwhile, Ford charges $695 for three years of nav in a mid-tier Bronco, like the Black Diamond.
Granted, Ford does provide some goodies with its nav system that Google Maps probably doesn’t, like “breadcrumbs” that allow you to observe your path up to the present moment. Sure, that could be helpful when off-roading; is it a $700 feature, though? GPS is an easy utility for carmakers to offer as a pillar in their wider range of connected services, which is why they all do it. It’s also an easy subscription play, which is why in the few occasions I’ve gone car shopping in the past decade, I’ve actively avoided it.
We reached out to Ford about the report, and the company’s communication manager could only confirm that 2022 Broncos “continue to be built with navigation” — notably saying nothing of vehicles due to be built after May. Additionally, the spokesperson stated Ford is “looking at many options to help get vehicles to our customers sooner during this global shortage of semiconductor chips” as all automakers are, which certainly leaves the possibility of a temporary nav system deletion open for the future.