Ford Australia showrooms will be without a small hatch for a few months due to supply chain issues.
The facelifted Focus range – pared down to hot ST and ST X variants – is now understood to be reaching Australian showrooms no earlier than August.
It was previously set to arrive in the second quarter of 2022, but supply issues related to the Russian invasion of Ukraine has delayed the start of production.
“The SYNC 4 parts shortage is still ongoing in Europe and we don’t have definite timing yet as to when it will be resolved,” said a spokesperson for Ford Australia.
“What we can confirm is that at this stage our approach is not to compromise on spec, and as a result Focus ST production is currently on hold until June, when our relocated suppliers expect to be able to supply the parts, and semiconductors, to build the SYNC 4 assembly.”
The company is contacting buyers who have ordered the updated model.
A search reveals there’s essentially no remaining dealer stock of the pre-update Focus.
While Ford Europe will get updated Focus models sooner, featuring the older Sync3 infotainment system and an 8.0-inch touchscreen, Ford Australia is waiting for the previously revealed 13.2-inch touchscreen infotainment system running Sync4.
The new 13.2-inch touchscreen, in addition to being considerably larger, includes integrated climate controls, as well as wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
The invasion of Ukraine is the latest interruption to automakers’ supply chains, with companies already in the midst of a semiconductor chip shortage and COVID-19 having been an albatross around the industry’s neck.
As supply issues force automakers to remove certain popular options, these companies have been taking different approaches to help soften the blow for consumers.
The likes of BMW and Skoda, for example, have been giving customers credits in Australia in some cases where certain features haven’t been available.
Volkswagen has reduced the price of its Golf R and Tiguan R as chip shortages have forced it to offer their Harman Kardon sound system as an option instead of standard equipment.
Earlier this year, Ford Australia confirmed some variants of the outgoing Ranger line are losing their automatic stop/start system, but there was no corresponding price adjustment.
Ford’s updated Focus range will consist solely of hot ST and ST X hatchback variants, with Ford having progressively culled the rest of the Focus range since the launch of the fourth-generation model in 2019.
MORE: Ford Focus: Non-ST range culled in Australia
For 2022 there are redesigned bumpers, a larger grille and restyled headlights.
This update also brings a price rise of $2600 to the ST models, with the range now opening at $47,490 before on-road costs for both the manual and automatic variants.
There’s a new ST X trim atop the range, packing dynamic pixel LED headlights and a panoramic sunroof, among other upgrades.
This model is only available in automatic form and is priced at $51,990 before on-road costs.
It also ditches the Recaro seats from the previous Focus ST and replaces them with a set of Ford Performance front seats with 14-way power adjustment for both driver and front passenger.
While a mainstream small hatchback has been a constant in Ford Australia’s line-up since the first-generation Laser was introduced in 1981, the Focus has now been repositioned as a niche Ford Performance offering like the Fiesta.
Both models are now available only in ST guise, and are Ford’s only passenger cars besides the Mustang as Ford has thinned out its car range considerably.
Local production of the Falcon ended in 2016, and the Mondeo was axed in 2020.
MORE: Everything Ford Focus