The Ford Bronco hasn’t been back in dealerships for very long, but it’s already causing all sorts of trouble. The SUV has been back-ordered for quite some time, and it only seems to be getting worse. It’s gotten so bad that some dealers are creating fake customers so the manufacturer will ship them more Broncos. Between the chip shortage, the roof recall, and last-minute price hikes, the Ford Bronco drama never ends. Are Ford Broncos really worth the trouble of Ford dealers creating fake customers?
Ford dealers are creating fake customers
Across the US, Ford dealerships are allegedly creating fake customer registrations for Broncos to increase the amount their location will receive. Dealers are reserving Broncos for real customers who did not ask for one, as well as creating fake people. The end goal is for Ford to allocate whatever Bronco inventory it has to these locations, instead of another.
To combat the issue, Ford launched the “2021 Bronco Customer Name Match Audit and Integrity Policy Reporting Platform”. Under this policy, Ford dealers are required to prove that 60% of all Bronco sales were to people with a reservation. The automaker knows it has received so many reservations for the Bronco that at least that many sales at each location should be preorders. The platform also allows dealers to view customer orders in one place, all of which Ford is monitoring.
What if Ford catches a dealer doing this?
If Ford catches a dealership faking customers to get more Bronco inventory, there will be consequences. Ford Authority reported this information about the subject; “Violating the rules one time will result in a warning while doing so a second time will cause the dealer to lose its future Bronco allocation for one month. Three strikes will lengthen that penalty to three months”. That’s a pretty substantial punishment that will likely prevent all dealers from ever doing this again.
In a business completely reliant on sales to make any money, it’s understandable that people would do something like this. Salespeople as well as management in dealerships go to great lengths regularly to make sure they finish a sale on any vehicle. A vehicle as hot as the Ford Bronco is a sure thing for most salespeople, and having more on location would be a dream come true. The dealers know that if they have the inventory, customers will come looking to buy. That’s especially true knowing people are already paying well over retail price for these vehicles, from private sellers and dealerships.
Why is it so difficult to buy a Ford Bronco?
If you’re confused about why dealers would need to go to these lengths for a Bronco, you haven’t paid much attention to Bronco news lately. First, the vehicle has so many reservations Ford can’t produce enough to keep up. One of the main reasons it cannot keep up with production is the hardtop roof recall. The Bronco models that are already on the road today were recalled for the hardtop roof. That means the automaker has to produce enough of these replacements to fill every Bronco model that’s already been sold. It also means those roofs in production cannot go on new Broncos. This is what has slowed down the entire process to a screeching halt. As of now, Ford has received 190,000 reservations for the Bronco, so you could say demand is high.
The initial release and timing of the new Ford Bronco have been nothing short of chaotic. The hardtop recall, a global pandemic causing inventory shortages, dealers scamming customers last minute, and now this. After the platform has been established by Ford that issues punishments for anyone caught faking customer names, we doubt this problem will persist. No Bronco inventory for three months seems like enough to get any group of sales staff to stop immediately. That’s why Ford dealers are creating fake customers to get more Broncos.