2022 Ford Focus ST production on hold until June, as Ukraine conflict cuts touchscreen supply

Production of the Ford Focus ST hot hatch for Australia will grind to a halt until June, as its centre touchscreen can’t be built amid the war in Ukraine – and Ford Australia opts not to downsize the display.

Production of the facelifted 2022 Ford Focus ST hot hatch for Australia has been placed on hold until June – for first showroom arrivals likely around August – as the Russia-Ukraine conflict cuts the supply of the car’s 13.2-inch infotainment touchscreen.

The updated Focus ST was initially due in Australian showrooms next month (May), with a new look, upgraded safety and, atop the dashboard, a new 13.2-inch infotainment touchscreen running Ford’s latest Sync 4 software.

However, the ongoing war in Ukraine has seen “one of [the] key suppliers of parts for the 13.2-inch Sync 4 screen … unable to meet demand,” according to Ford Australia – making it impossible to build the screen and fit it to new cars.

While Ford in Europe has decided to instead offer a smaller 8.0-inch Sync 3 touchscreen – as fitted to base-model Focus variants in Europe, and shared with the pre-facelift Focus ST globally – Ford Australia has opted “not to compromise on spec”, and instead halt production entirely.

Production of the required parts is moving to a new location in Europe, however this will not be up and running until mid-2022 – delaying the resumption of production until June, a company spokesperson told Drive.

First arrivals in Australian showrooms are expected around August – a delay of around three months – however a specific date is yet to be locked in by Ford Australia.

“The Sync 4 parts shortage is still ongoing … what we can confirm is that at this stage is that our approach is not to compromise on spec, and as a result Focus ST production is currently on hold until we can source the parts, and semiconductors, to build the Sync 4 assembly, a Ford Australia spokesperson told Drive.

In a statement last month – before the shortage’s impact on Australia had been determined – Ford Australia said: “As a result of the conflict in Ukraine, one of our key suppliers of parts for the 13.2-inch Sync 4 screen in Focus is unable to meet demand. Supply of these parts is being moved to a new location in Europe, but this will take time to implement.”

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in late February has caused further chaos across the automotive industry, which was already struggling with a global shortage of semiconductors.

Before the conflict, some hoped the semiconductor shortage would ease over the coming months, to get more stock into showrooms towards the end of the year – however with Ukraine a key supplier of neon (as used in semiconductors), this is looking increasingly less likely.

German giants Volkswagen (including its Porsche subsidiary) and BMW have been forced to pause production amid a shortage of Ukrainian-made wiring harnesses, while Ford has paused Fiesta city car and Focus production at various points amid parts shortages.

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