Time to take action against greed.
Enough is enough. Things like this don't give automakers a good reputation despite the fact it's typically beyond their control. We're talking about dealership markups, of course. New and in-demand vehicles are often subjected to increased costs by dealerships looking to make some easy cash at some desperate buyer's expense. Because they're privately-owned franchises, OEMs are unable to do much to stop this. Ford, however, is not pleased with the previously reported F-150 Lightning markups and private buyers trying to flip them.
According to a post on the F150Gen14 forum, the Blue Oval is initiating a plan to fight back.
A document currently being sent out to dealers states the following: "It has come to our attention that a limited number of dealerships are interacting with customers in a manner that is negatively impacting customer satisfaction and damaging to the Ford Motor Company brand and Dealer Body reputation." It goes on to say it's well aware of dealers who are "demanding customers who are already on the reservation list for the 22 MY F-150 Lightning make additional deposits or payments."
The solution is very simple: dealers who are confirmed to be engaging in this will see their entire F-150 Lightning allocation sent to competing dealers for all of 2022. But what about reservation holders who intend to purchase only to flip the EV truck not long after taking delivery? Again, Ford is taking action.
The memo requests dealers to ask Lightning customers to sign a document stating they won't sell the truck for at least one year following delivery. In theory, doing so would lower a dealer's markup temptation by knowing neither them nor the customer stands to make a profit. However, this contract will be optional. CarBuzz reached out to Ford seeking comment and a spokeswoman confirmed the dealer "notification went out this morning" (January 7). At this time, we don't know whether any dealers have been penalized.
It's also important to remember this isn't the first time Ford has asked buyers to sign an anti-flipping document. This was done a few years back when the second-generation GT supercar arrived. Some owners, like John Cena, blatantly ignored the contract and flipped their cars anyway. In their view, they were private owners who have the right to sell their personal property at any time without restrictions. It'll be interesting to see what transpires this time around.