Lincoln showed off the refreshed 2022 Navigator in August last year, but the luxury SUV only went into production on January 18 this year. Just three months after the line landed at Ford’s Kentucky truck plant, the Lincoln Inventory Unit closed the pumping door. Ford authorities The Navigator page on Lincoln’s consumer website now reads, “2022 Lincoln Navigator is only available for custom orders. Some models, trims and features may not be available. Please contact your local Lincoln retailer for updates and assistance.” This is a bit of sub-optimal news for buyers who want to hit the dealer and buy an SUV like choosing a pet at a shelter.
Although it wasn’t such a bad thing for Lincoln. The Ford dealer has clarified its intentions regarding the future of inventory and custom orders, emphasizing that it wants less of the former and more of the latter. With Navigator, that part of the plan seems to be working, the FA reports that retail orders increased 291% in February compared to February 2021. Blue Oval Forum Shoppers are also willing to wait for their order, a buyer who placed an order on January 20 still holds a VIN and temporary production date at the time of writing.
Although the transfer to custom order does not seem to be the result of irresistible demand. Rather, it seems that Ford cannot build enough navigators to meet the demand there. Production problems at the Kentucky truck plant that produced Ford Expeditions and Super Duty Pickups have reduced output for all three models. In the U.S., both expedition and navigator sales fell more than 56% in the first three months of this year.
Navigators who knock out plant doors go without Active Park Assist 2.0, a standard feature of Lincoln that is limited to many Ford vehicles, as well as what you need to know. Ford is able to do at least the next best thing, installing an Active Park Assist 2.0 prep kit that screws on sensors and hardware. When the chip is found, which the automaker believes can be 12 to 18 months, an owner can stop at a dealer to install the chip for free. This is a better solution than a semiconductor shortage package for everyone involved.
Order books for the 2023 Lincoln Navigator are expected to open in two months, with production set to begin in September. Then maybe things will get better. Or not.