Ford Threatens Scalpers and Dealers: ‘We’ll Hold Back F-150 Lightnings’
Ford dealers have in the past shown they can’t resist marking up hot new models. Recently the Mustang Mach-E and Bronco saw some crazy gouging. Now Ford says Enough! It has warned dealers not to raise prices beyond MSRP for its F-150 Lightning pickup. But there’s more.
Are there “no-sale” provisions in Lightning contracts?
It wants dealers to add no-sale provisions in buyer contracts. It is providing the wording to be added to contracts to essentially stop scalping. That means buyers agree to “not sell, offer to sell, or otherwise transfer ownership interest in the Vehicle prior to the first anniversary of the date hereof.”
Of course, as with almost everything these days, some have put up a stink. According to CNET, some argue that this is Ford trying to tell people what they can do with their property. The problem is that, especially right now with vehicle prices soaring, you know all of the above will happen.
Dealers are marking up everything from F-150 pickups to Mitsubishi Mirage econoboxes. And used prices are sometimes worse, and also sometimes higher than the price new. So it is like the Wild West for consumers, and Ford is attempting to tamp it down as Lightning reservations continue to pour in.
Lightning no-sale “between dealer and customer”
Ford says it is only suggesting the no-sale addition to contracts. “The requirement is between a dealer and their customer,” a spokesperson told CNET. It may not be allowed in some states. However, Ford says it is “offering support” for dealers that choose to add it. It’s not clear what Ford means by support, but you can surmise what it could be.
But there is even more. Some Ford dealers added extra “fees” or “deposits” to reservation holders after their Broncos got to the dealership. Ford is also trying to manage that too.
It sent letters to dealers telling them how the practice can be argued from a legal standpoint. In court, it could be argued the practice is “threatening customers by withholding their opportunity to convert reservations to orders.”
With over 200,000 reservations, Ford wants to get this launch right
Right now, Ford has stopped taking reservations for the Lightning EV pickup. Last we heard there were over 200,000 reservations for it. Ford has twice increased production goals as even it was surprised at the Lightning’s reception. It now says it will shoot for production of 150,000 in 2023.
Production continues to be an issue for all manufacturers, not just those making vehicles. Rivian has delayed its largest battery availability until 2023. And Tesla’s Cybertruck availability has been removed from its website. It may not get produced until some time in 2023. It was originally touted that production would begin last year.
But with reservations seemingly being the future of vehicle buying, the dealers are looking for every way possible to make an extra buck. And that is exactly what Ford is trying to stop.