Ford’s Customers Are Skipping the Dealerships and Doing This Instead
The high demand and low supply situation in the car market brought about by the chip shortage, and supply chain issues have also caused other problems for car buyers and automakers. One example is dealerships selling cars well over the manufacturer’s recommended retail price (MSRP). For Ford customers, examples of vehicles that have been subject to these markups are the Ford Bronco and Ford F-150 Lightning. This is how consumers are solving the problem.
Ford’s issues with dealership markups
Carbuzz reports that ridiculous markups for the 2021 Ford Bronco could be seen on dealership listings when the off-road vehicle started shipping out. A dealership in California was even selling a 2021 Bronco first edition for $20,000 over MSRP, and this wasn’t an isolated incident. This may have been why the automaker switched to selling vehicles on order.
According to Kelley Blue Book, Ford opted to sell the F-150 Lightning directly to buyers using a two-step process. The first step was to buy a refundable $100 reservation with the car manufacturer, later sending invitations for reservation holders to order the truck. However, this didn’t stop dealers from trying to make an extra buck from each vehicle sale.
A post by the Detroit Free Press in January 2022 highlighted that some dealerships were demanding extra payments from customers already on the reservation list to help keep them there. This also caught the attention of Ford executives. Vice president of sales Andrew Frick even threatened to redirect some of the truck allocations for the guilty parties to competing dealerships.
Ford’s customers skipping dealerships
Of course, with the crazy markups and Ford’s build-to-order strategy allowing buyers to customize their vehicles, more and more buyers are choosing to skip the middleman altogether. Ford even highlighted that for April 2022, 50% of the company’s sales were from direct orders.
A quick look at the automaker’s sales reports for the previous months also shows a growing preference for ordering directly from the factory over looking at dealership inventory. This trend is likely to continue as long as there are supply chain issues and low supply. However, whether things will revert to the status quo once the car market stabilizes remains to be seen.
Also, dealerships are still an essential part of the market as they provide delivery, vehicle check-up, and even repair services, so they’ll likely be around for some time.
Nonetheless, it’s worth noting that Ford received so many orders for the F-150 Lightning that the manufacturer had to stop taking orders for the truck.
The specs and features that make the F-150 Lightning so desirable
The Ford F-150 Lightning is an all-electric pickup truck with up to 320 miles of EPA-estimated range expected to reach buyers in spring 2022. Ford intends for the vehicle to have a 563 hp and 775 lb-ft from its dual motors that allow acceleration to 60 mph in less than five seconds. Furthermore, this much power should allow the truck a towing capacity of up to 10,000 lbs.
The automaker also targets a 2,000 lbs payload capacity with 14.1 cu-ft of sealed space at the front of the truck. Another unique feature is the “enhanced pro power onboard” that includes 11 incorporated power outlets with 9.6 KW output. This should allow users to plug-in devices like a mini-fridge, USB cables, laptops, and even power tools.
Also worth mentioning is the Lightning truck with an extended-range battery can provide backup power to users’ homes for about three days. Other selling points include independent rear suspension, impressive 4×4 performance, and 360-degree zone lighting for night work.
Even the “intelligent towing technology” that Ford claims will make towing a lot easier.