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Buying a vehicle from a dealership is one that provokes anxiety in most people. There is the haggling, waiting long hours in a little chair behind a big desk, and hoping you aren’t being taken advantage of by the dealership.

Imagine if you paid 50% more than the MSRP. Unfortunately, one dealership was taking advantage of customers and marking up their Ford F-150 Lightnings by $50,000 more than the suggested retail price.

The automotive market has been in a tailspin since the shutdown, and the shortage of semiconductors is making matters worse. This new environment is making it possible for dealers like this to charge outrageous prices for their vehicles. Let’s take a look at the dealer and what happened.

One dealer is accused of price gouging with marked up prices

The 2022 Ford Lightning, known to have price mark ups at various dealers, in a room with blue and white lights in the background.
Ford Lightning | Getty Images

The Lightning Owners Forum is a website for F-150 Lightning owners to discuss all things Lightning related. Recently, Inside EVs was alerted to a potential price gouging situation in Thousand Oaks, California, by a forum member.

A member who goes by the handle “Junk in the Frunk” discovered a tweet from the dealership DCH Ford of Thousand Oaks showing an F-150 Lightning selling for $145,309. The forum member said that “A Platinum starts at about $91,000, and obviously there are a ton of options you can add from there, but a +50% market adjustment?! I’m thinking Ford corporate might have something to say about this. Anybody around Thousand Oaks, CA with experience at DCH Ford?” 

However, that particular F-150 Lightning markup wasn’t the only one listed.

The marked up on the F-150 Lightning

Besides the F-150 Lightning listed for $145,309, a few others were listed with unreasonable prices. There were two other F-150 Lightning truck options available with prices at around $130,000 as well. 

Ford had a similar situation with the Mustang Mach-E electric crossover. Due to high demand for the vehicle, Inside EVs reported that dealers were marking up prices on the Mustang Mach-E from $5,000 to $15,000, even for those that had already placed their order. After being called out on Twitter, Ford later released a statement that the markup had been removed. However, DCH Ford of Thousand Oaks took a different approach.

A correction was made on the website

DCH Ford of Thousand Oaks has since replaced the listed price with a “call for pricing” listed on each truck. It’s unclear if they are still asking the same price for the vehicles. Inside EVs still have the screenshots posted on their website that show the original asking prices for the vehicles taken from DCH Ford of Thousand Oaks page. 

Ford has said that dealers will lose their F-150 allocation allotment if they mark up these vehicles. However, that doesn’t stop them from selling the inventory they already have on hand at exorbitant prices. Additionally, dealers are separate entities from Ford, and they can set their own rules. 

Global shortages on most things have driven up prices to some degree. Some car dealers would have you believe that the prices of vehicles are increasing because of inflation. 

However, manufacturers have only slightly changed the price they charge the dealers for these vehicles. Virtually all price increases have been on the dealership’s side. Dealerships have gotten away with huge markups on vehicles as they take advantage of the supply and demand issues the market is currently facing. Edmunds reports that 82% of car buyers paid more than MSRP last January. For comparison, only 3% spent more only a year before. 


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