Lincoln showed the refreshed 2022 Navigator in August of last year, but the luxury SUV only entered production on January 18 of this year. After just three months of rolling down the line at Ford's Kentucky Truck Plant, Lincoln has closed the doors on pumping out inventory units. Ford Authority noticed the Navigator page at Lincoln's consumer web site now reads, "The 2022 Lincoln Navigator is only available for custom order. Some models, trims, and features may not be available. Please contact your local Lincoln Retailer for updates and assistance." It's a small bit of sub-optimal news for shoppers who want to hit the dealer lot and shop for an SUV like choosing a pet at a shelter.
It hasn't been such a bad thing for Lincoln, though. Ford has made it intentions clear about the future of dealer inventory and custom orders, emphasizing that it wants less of the former and more of the latter. With the Navigator, that part of the plan appears to be working out, FA reporting that retail orders in February were up 291% over February 2021. Threads on the Blue Oval Forums show buyers willing to wait for their orders as well, one buyer who placed an order on January 20 still holding out for a VIN and tentative production date at the time of writing.
It doesn't appear the move to custom orders is the result of overwhelming demand, however. Rather, it seems that Ford just can't make enough Navigators to satisfy what demand there is. Production issues at the Kentucky Truck Plant that also builds the Ford Expedition and Super Duty pickup have crimped output for all three models. Expedition and Navigator sales in the U.S. are both down more than 56% through the first three months of this year.
Navigators that do make it out the plant doors are leaving without Active Park Assist 2.0, a standard feature on the Lincoln that is constrained on a number of Ford vehicles as well thanks to you know what. Ford is at least able to do the next best thing, which is installing an Active Park Assist 2.0 Prep Kit that screws in the sensors and hardware. When chips are available, which the automaker believes could be 12 to 18 months, an owner can stop by a dealer to have that chip installed free of charge. It's a nicer 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 slated to start in September. Maybe things will be better then. Or not.