Ford has altered its "mannequin program" rules to allow for quicker sales.
Ford has a hit on its hands with the Bronco Sport, so much so that it had to change the rules for dealers selling demo models. Ford's rules came under the spotlight recently when a dealer sold a Bronco Sport by mistake and then demanded it back from its customer. That wasn't great optics for the brand, and may have contributed to Ford now allowing dealers to sell models supplied under its "mannequin program," as reported by Cars Direct. The program has been in place since June 2020 and required the demo vehicles to remain in service for at least four months or 4,000 miles before being sold.
According to the report, Ford sent out a letter to dealers last week letting them know the four-month or 4,000-mile requirement for the program has been removed, "allowing dealers to sell to end-users immediately." Under the demo program, dealers could have up to two pre-configured show models on the lot.
Now that dealers can sell them, situations like the one where a dealer demanded its customer return the one he was sold can be avoided. The Bronco Sport's success hasn't surprised us, it's a great little SUV as a daily driver with genuine off-road chops for the more adventurous.
Demand has been so high for the Bronco Sport that some dealers have been demanding up to $10,000 in markups. The change in the rules may also be because Ford is expecting an even higher demand for the full-size Bronco due to start being delivered in the summer. Reservations for the fully-loaded First Edition model are already full, and Ford is warning customers reserving other models that the waiting list is long enough that some customers may end up taking delivery of a 2022 model year Bronco.