Today I was given the opportunity to get a little inside information on the ordering process of a Ford F150 lightning. Ordering the lightning is nothing like ordering a regular truck or car from Ford.
The first ordering process for the lightning was done entirely online, you ordered directly on the Ford website configured the truck the way you wanted it and sent it off hoping that it would arrive in a timely manner. However there’s a lot more on the backend that wasn’t told to you, and honestly there’s a lot of shady stuff that goes on…
The first part of ordering is trying to secure a position, With what they called a pre-order. You would go to the Ford website and place a $100 deposit in hopes of securing your spot in line to actually convert your pre-order to an order. During this pre-order process you are asked which dealer you would prefer to take delivery. This is where the shady stuff begins, each dealer gets a list of their orders on their order tracking software. They can then see all orders placed to be picked up at their dealership, and re-order the orders in terms of importance. In most cases you would see that employees are moved to the top, followed by customers who already owned a Ford vehicle purchased from that dealership, followed by everyone else. Ford then picks the orders based on this priority, not how soon you put your order in to convert your pre order to an order.
Ahead of being picked to convert your pre order over to an order, dealers now have the opportunity to adjust the markup on the order, as well as the amount of deposit they’re going to require in order to secure the order. Ford’s default of course is MSRP, and a $500 deposit. This deposit is in addition to the $100 deposit you had to put down in order to get your spot in line for a pre-order. All deposits are applied to the cost of purchasing the truck. At this time dealers have the option to add whatever markup they would like to the price of the truck, and after you’ve configured your truck you were given your total price including the markup. As well as you are charged whatever deposit they specify is required to place the order.
When the Ford CEO goes out and talks about how shady dealers are and that he is totally against marking up the price, why would they make the order banks controlled by the dealers to even give an option to the dealers to add mark up to an order?
Its interesting to me that the Markup option was even coded in to the site, to affect pre order holders.. If Jim Farley truly didn’t want dealers adding markup, Why even code it to the website if it wasn’t something you wanted? I know this multi Billion dollar company isn’t using a template website…
In my opinion this is not as transparent as they make it seem, the system was designed in order for dealers to add whatever markup they wanted right from the get go.
UPDATE: after writing this article, this picture came out further proving my above claims. Ford is giving all the control to the dealers, and nobody at Ford truly does care what the dealers are doing.