Ford Is Going to 100% Online, Fixed-Price Sales For EVs

Eric

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The tides are changing.


The Ford brand will transition to exclusively online, fixed-price, delivered-to-your-door sales for EVs, CEO Jim Farley said, according to USA Today.

"We've got to go to non-negotiated price. We've got to go 100 percent online. There's no inventory (at dealerships), it goes directly to the customer. And 100 percent remote pick up and delivery," he said during Bernstein's Annual Strategic Decisions Conference, per USA Today.

It's unclear if Ford also plans to implement this sales strategy shift for its non-EV products.

Farley went on to say that he sees the physical locations of dealers as a huge opportunity to push an edge over competitors, but that the current stores will have to radically evolve. Dealers can do it, he said, "but the standards are going to be brutal."
 

citypix

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Dealer ADMs and frustrated potential customers probably pushed him towards that. My wife and I have been looking at different cars, including an EV.

But there's no way in hell I'm paying a $10K+ ADM or even a $1 ADM. Even in an upside down market. Just can't do it. No problem waiting. In no hurry.

I'm still keeping my '98 F-150 Lariat flareside, although would love a Lightning. Just don't need a truck as much as I used to.
 

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So will you still be able to test drive at a dealership? I could never buy a car if I’ve not test driven it.
 

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I like the concept IF the customer can save $ by removing middlemen from the process. As mentioned above, the test drive is an issue.
 

DT

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This might be a hot take: we haven't done a test drive on a number of our cars (the majority I' say).

I get a really good sense of ownership from my research, online communities, and usually I'm buying something with a sort of "enthusiast community", where people tend to share a lot details about their ownership experience. I've owned ~20 vehicles, and I've never been disappointed. I've never experienced some deal breaker out of left field even when I have done a test drive, I'm already 95% sold anyway.

I guess there's some people that might have some potential physical and/or health related concern (for example, height, or like back issues).

I had a car shipped down to FL from the DC area, hadn't driven one, we traded the previous SUV on the existing one [at the time], stopped by the dealership on the way down to Orlando/Universal, swapped over our bags, and drove it for the first time the rest of the way :D Our two current cars, both purchased, never seen in person, neither test driven - had photos of the Wrangler, the Tesla I didn't even see photos, saw it the first time when we showed up for delivery.

We're not "sweat the details" kind of folks, and we are almost never disappointed :)
 

citypix

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This means one thing: with all these out-of-work car dealers, I expect to see more politicians.
Good one!

I remember Ford CEO Jim Farley a month ago saying he's had it with dealers violating their contracts adding ADMs. And there would be consequences for those dealers. Seemed legit.

Wasn't expecting this, but am glad to see it.
 

DT

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Dealer ADMs and frustrated potential customers probably pushed him towards that. My wife and I have been looking at different cars, including an EV.

But there's no way in hell I'm paying a $10K+ ADM or even a $1 ADM. Even in an upside down market. Just can't do it. No problem waiting. In no hurry.

I'm still keeping my '98 F-150 Lariat flareside, although would love a Lightning. Just don't need a truck as much as I used to.

For as much as I love cars, the research, the ownership experience, talking about them, modifying them, etc., the dealer experience is just terrible. The Wrangler was a dealer purchase down in Orlando, but done totally remote, barely even spoke to anyone directly, and they even delivered it to us, so they showed up, we signed maybe one or two more docs and we were done and spent the day without a sales goon standing around us explaining how to use the head unit.

The Tesla was amazing and weird, all the order, purchase, insurance, etc., was done online, even coordinating the delivery, I picked a date on a calendar, we show up, there it is. We did have to finalize a few docs (and there was some confusion about a tag transfer), but still, 90-95% of the process was fully automated.
 

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For as much as I love cars, the research, the ownership experience, talking about them, modifying them, etc., the dealer experience is just terrible. The Wrangler was a dealer purchase down in Orlando, but done totally remote, barely even spoke to anyone directly, and they even delivered it to us, so they showed up, we signed maybe one or two more docs and we were done and spent the day without a sales goon standing around us explaining how to use the head unit.

The Tesla was amazing and weird, all the order, purchase, insurance, etc., was done online, even coordinating the delivery, I picked a date on a calendar, we show up, there it is. We did have to finalize a few docs (and there was some confusion about a tag transfer), but still, 90-95% of the process was fully automated.

When i first moved out here, i had already ordered a car on the internet, unseen, and found out it was going to be delayed by a couple months. So I went looking around for alternatives, and went to a mitsubishi dealer, because the eclipse was equivalent to the eagle talon i ordered, and I wanted to see what it would cost. I spent about 30-45 minutes with a sales guy, trying to get a straight answer as to the price and financing, and it ended up being about 10 grand more than the car I ordered, so I said no thanks.

As I went to leave, he physically blocked the door. He wouldn’t let me out. It was crazy.

I shoved my way through him while making a loud scene, and got the heck out of there.

The next morning he called me and asked if I was still interested in the car.
 
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citypix

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For as much as I love cars, the research, the ownership experience, talking about them, modifying them, etc., the dealer experience is just terrible. The Wrangler was a dealer purchase down in Orlando, but done totally remote, barely even spoke to anyone directly, and they even delivered it to us, so they showed up, we signed maybe one or two more docs and we were done and spent the day without a sales goon standing around us explaining how to use the head unit.

I had a similar experience on custom ordering my '98 F-150 truck. All done over email and phone with a dealer 30 miles away. I don't remember the exact percentage, but it was something like 5-10% under dealer "invoice" (which was presented - though knowing they obviously pay less than that) for any way I wanted to option it. It was an excellent deal. Pleasant experience including picking it up when it came in. I do all of my own maintenance and it still runs good today.
 

Eric

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So will you still be able to test drive at a dealership? I could never buy a car if I’ve not test driven it.
I'm typically the same way, especially with guitars. But with the Tesla I didn't have any problems buying site unseen because we pretty much know what we're going to get.

The buying experience could not have been easier either, maybe a half hour all said and done and I was on my way to pick up the car. I'll never go back into a dealership and deal with that long and painful process again.
 

Joe

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When i first moved out here, i had already ordered a car on the internet, unseen, and found out it was going to be delayed by a couple months. So I went looking around for alternatives, and went to a mitsubishi dealer, because the eclipse was equivalent to the eagle talon i ordered, and I wanted to see what it would cost. I spent about 30-45 minutes with a sales guy, trying to get a straight answer as to the price and financing, and it ended up being about 10 grand more than the car I ordered, so I said no thanks.

As I went to leave, he physically blocked the door. He wouldn’t let me out. It was crazy.

I shoved my way through him while making a loud scene, and got the heck out of there.

The next morning he called me and asked if I was still interested in the car.

I've heard stories from people saying the dealership wouldn't give them their keys back on a car they were thinking of trading in. They took the keys to check out the car to value it and when the person decided they didn't want to go through with it they acted like they didn't know where his keys were just to keep them their longer to try and talk them into it. lol

Dealerships are the worst.
 

Cmaier

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I've heard stories from people saying the dealership wouldn't give them their keys back on a car they were thinking of trading in. They took the keys to check out the car to value it and when the person decided they didn't want to go through with it they acted like they didn't know where his keys were just to keep them their longer to try and talk them into it. lol

Dealerships are the worst.
You know, it’s funny, as I was writing that post I had a vague recollection of them holding onto my keys, but that made no sense because I had no keys to hold onto. (I was driving a long-term rental Geo Metro with a stick shift - I rented it to learn to drive stick while waiting for my Talon). But now that I think about, I think that what the guy did at one point is he held onto my driver’s license (which he supposedly needed for the test drive or financing or something. I can’t remember since this was 25 years ago).

Yeah, car dealers are awful.
 

Eric

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I've heard stories from people saying the dealership wouldn't give them their keys back on a car they were thinking of trading in. They took the keys to check out the car to value it and when the person decided they didn't want to go through with it they acted like they didn't know where his keys were just to keep them their longer to try and talk them into it. lol

Dealerships are the worst.
Last time we went in to purchase my wife's rig, buyout after the lease, it was so painful she had to talk me out of walking out in the middle of it. This was a straight forward purchase, no other BS or negotiations and we were there for 4 fkn hours. I was ready to rip the hair out of my head and I've vowed never again.
 

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Dealer ADMs and frustrated potential customers probably pushed him towards that. My wife and I have been looking at different cars, including an EV.

But there's no way in hell I'm paying a $10K+ ADM or even a $1 ADM. Even in an upside down market. Just can't do it. No problem waiting. In no hurry.

I'm still keeping my '98 F-150 Lariat flareside, although would love a Lightning. Just don't need a truck as much as I used to.
When I was looking for a new truck last spring, I wanted a new F-250 to replace my old F-250. They were hard to find, but GMC dealers always seemed to have a 2500 Denali in stock. So I started looking around and quickly found out that 1) The Denali package is about $5K more than the Ford Lariat package. Ok, so I could live with this as you get more options.

But also found that almost every dealer was charging an additional $3-5K Market Adjustment. Nope, I'm out. I could live with the Denali upgrade, but not the ADM.

So the true cost is that GMC had a chance to convert a long-term Ford buyer, but lost it because of their dealers.
 

DT

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Apparently Ford walked that back and said, "Oh, we meant 100% capability to complete a transaction online, but we will still support sales at dealers ..."

:rolleyes:
 

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I'm typically the same way, especially with guitars. But with the Tesla I didn't have any problems buying site unseen because we pretty much know what we're going to get.

The buying experience could not have been easier either, maybe a half hour all said and done and I was on my way to pick up the car. I'll never go back into a dealership and deal with that long and painful process again.
I’d already test driven an i3 when I was looking to buy a new one (for a morning with Mrs AFB as well as on my own). So when it came to buying the approved used one I bought, I suppose I could have skipped the test drive. It really wasn’t very long. But when I went back to collect it, I was there for an hour doing paperwork. Sign here, sign there. Took a lot longer than it should.
Also once I declined the tyre insurance, wheel insurance, scratch insurance and gap insurance the deal was a lot less profitable for them.
 

citypix

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Then there's this FTW

Ford surprises F-150 Lightning owners with accessory that can recharge stranded Teslas​


Cute!

I'm glad Lightning ordering is closed for 2022, otherwise I might be tempted to purchase one and sell my '98 F-150. I just don't need that much truck anymore. A Honda Ridgeline would meet my needs, as it can carry a couple 4x8 sheets of plywood in a pinch, if needed.

Supposedly Honda has 30 (IIRC) EVs under development. No doubt one of them is an EV Ridgeline. So... best to wait on that.
 
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