It seems that Ford is ready to do nearly anything to protect the upcoming F-150 Lightning EV pickup from negative news or a poor customer experience. The automaker is hoping to head off a big potential doozy that’s endemic to hotly anticipated new car debuts: Egregious dealer markups on new F-150 Lightnings. Dealers are being warned against asking for additional deposits or any other presale payments. It also puts in a new “no-sale” provision upon purchase for the customers, to prevent folks from flipping their Lightnings for a quick buck.
The warning memo to the Ford dealers—that was originally screenshot and posted on the F150Gen14.com forum before it was deleted at the request of Ford—is more of a way to protect the brand from negative reviews from customers after much of the debacle from new Bronco sales. That is, customers put up a deposits to reserve their new Ford 4x4s on Ford’s site only for franchise dealers to come back and demand more money before they would sell that customer a new Bronco.
Ford already has a tool on their franchise dealer agreement under “Paragraph 6(i)” that states: “The Dealer shall conduct dealership operations in a manner that will reflect favorably at all times the reputation of the dealer, other company (Ford) authorized dealers, the company, company products and trademarks and trade names used or claimed by the company or any of its subsidiaries.” This includes a provision that the dealer “shall avoid in every way any ‘bait,’ deceptive, misleading, confusing, or illegal advertising or business practices.” Any dealer caught doing this by Ford will have their allocation of F-150 Lightnings “redirected” for the entirety of the 2022 model year.
For the full story, check out this article from Motor Trend.