Customers hoping to net their ideal spec on the showroom floor may not be so lucky.
Based on a letter sent to Ford dealers recently, it appears the Blue Oval will be stocking up to 80% fewer configurations of its most popular vehicles. Called "inventory framing", the process will reduce dealer inventory and concentrate on the brand's best-selling model configurations.
This will be carried out using regional sales data and, as such, differ based on the specific districts. The stock reduction will commence around late January or early February. Nine models are affected by this new approach, including the Escape, Bronco Sport, Explorer, Ranger, F-150, and Mustang, among others.
While there are numerous benefits to dealers, such as less aged inventory and improved profitability, customers will now have fewer variations to view when visiting a Ford showroom. Of course, they're still free to order any vehicle configuration they like. This, reports carsdirect.com, may push the Dearborn-based carmaker closer to an order-based selling model. While a new concept for Ford, regional vehicle allocation is something Toyota has done for quite some time.
Due to the ongoing semiconductor chip crisis, demand for new and used cars has increased dramatically. Waiting lists get longer by the day, with desperate consumers vying to get a vehicle. With Ford's new process, it may be more difficult for consumers to walk into a dealer and buy a vehicle with a specific package of options. It could convince buyers to order their vehicles online though, assuaging some of the pressure brought on by global inventory shortages.
Last year, CarBuzz reported the challenges created by these inventory issues may change the face of car shopping forever, especially with a pronounced uptick in online car sales. Ford's CEO Jim Farley noted it's far better to embrace a new procedure, whereby customers order the specific car they want.
For those hoping to find their ideal Mustang or Bronco Sport at a local dealership, don't hold your breath. Ordering your perfectly specced vehicle seems to be the only way you'll get your ideal ride.