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Keeping the Dealer Honest


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This is a question for those of you that have, or are currently working at a dealership. :sos:

 

Is there a way to find out if the dealership you are dealing with, is being truthful with you about the amount of Shelby's they can order?

 

In my introduction (NEW MEMBER INTRODUCTIONS), I said I was first on the list. "Since December 2005, 1st on the waiting list at a (not so) local Ford dealership, $500.00 deposit, MSRP...in writing, signed by the then current sales manager".

 

Now I'm being told that the owner, who happens to own multiple Ford dealerships around the area, wants the first Shelby from this dealership and that this dealership has to go into some sort of "lottery" to see if it can order a 2nd car. Whats up with that? :shrug:

 

I guess this is a series of questions.

 

1. Is there a database that tells how many Shelby's a dealership can order?

2. Is it available to us Shelby junkies? PROZAC!!! I'm gonna need some PROZAC Rufdraft. :rant::rant:

3. If so, where is it?!?!

 

:soapbox::soapbox::soapbox:

 

Thanks, I needed that.

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This is a question for those of you that have, or are currently working at a dealership. :sos:

 

Is there a way to find out if the dealership you are dealing with, is being truthful with you about the amount of Shelby's they can order?

 

In my introduction (NEW MEMBER INTRODUCTIONS), I said I was first on the list. "Since December 2005, 1st on the waiting list at a (not so) local Ford dealership, $500.00 deposit, MSRP...in writing, signed by the then current sales manager".

 

Now I'm being told that the owner, who happens to own multiple Ford dealerships around the area, wants the first Shelby from this dealership and that this dealership has to go into some sort of "lottery" to see if it can order a 2nd car. Whats up with that? :shrug:

 

I guess this is a series of questions.

 

1. Is there a database that tells how many Shelby's a dealership can order?

2. Is it available to us Shelby junkies? PROZAC!!! I'm gonna need some PROZAC Rufdraft. :rant::rant:

3. If so, where is it?!?!

 

:soapbox::soapbox::soapbox:

 

Thanks, I needed that.

 

 

You put together 2 words that dont belong. DEALER and HONEST. The hits just keep on coming on how slimey car sales guys are. You have it in writing, and money down go to the local TV news radio and paper, get them to listen and do a consumer report on you. These guys are such azzholes not a real one out there.

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I called SVT a few weeks ago and they told me that once Ford Headquarters determines exactly what Share-of-Nation allocation each dealer will get, they will share that info with the SVT office and SVT will be able to tell us how many cars were allocated to each dealer. So you will be able to call the SVT 800#, give them a dealer name, and find out how many Share-of-Nation cars they will get. The Share-of-Nation is in addition to the 1-3 cars that dealers have already been allotted for SVT status, President's Award, etc. The guy I spoke with at SVT said that Ford Headquarters should know this by the end of July. Apparantly the deadlines that were originally set for dealers to turn in their SVT cert. paperwork and get their training were relaxed a little. So Ford gave them a little longer to get their paperwork etc. turned in.

 

I hope this helps. I know I am patiently waiting and plan to call SVT in August to find out exactly how many cars my local dealers will be getting.

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I called SVT a few weeks ago and they told me that once Ford Headquarters determines exactly what Share-of-Nation allocation each dealer will get, they will share that info with the SVT office and SVT will be able to tell us how many cars were allocated to each dealer. So you will be able to call the SVT 800#, give them a dealer name, and find out how many Share-of-Nation cars they will get. The Share-of-Nation is in addition to the 1-3 cars that dealers have already been allotted for SVT status, President's Award, etc. The guy I spoke with at SVT said that Ford Headquarters should know this by the end of July. Apparantly the deadlines that were originally set for dealers to turn in their SVT cert. paperwork and get their training were relaxed a little. So Ford gave them a little longer to get their paperwork etc. turned in.

 

I hope this helps. I know I am patiently waiting and plan to call SVT in August to find out exactly how many cars my local dealers will be getting.

 

 

Fun5.0Girl I hope you're right, I just called the SVT hotline and the guy I talked with was clueless :headscratch:

 

August, whew, :angry2: :banghead: :angry2: :banghead::censored: Hey RufDraft, where's that Prozac!!!

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Sorry that many of us are having to deal with such dealers! I'm on my third deal, having two deals fall through in similiar circumstances. One cashed my deposit check and I had a signed deal as well from the GM, who called and said he forgot they didn't win the President's Award in 05 and would not get a second car (How convenient). Sent me a dealer check back for my deposit, which I have not cashed. Nobody at Ford could tell me wheter he won the PA or not, so I'm pretty much giving up on that deal. Attorney says I could sue but could be costly.

Have a deal now with deposit check cashed, signed letter of committment by owner and priced order. Hope this one sticks! Good news is that it's at MSRP. I'll believe it when I see my car!

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You know, reading all the horror stories about dealers backing out of orders makes me wonder if it would have been much better for ALL dealers nationwide to refuse deposits and refuse to order cars for specific customers. The alternative would have been to just order popular colors of GT500's and put them up for sale whenever they arrive. No customer worries, no managing the wait, no deposit worries, etc. Just sell them when they are actually available on the lot. Some dealers actually did this and they are probably very happy they did. Those of us who actually took deposits and ordered very specific cars for customers have to help manage the wait with our customers so they don't go crazy.

 

I'm in constant contact with all four of our GT500 customers. The first guy's car was built over a frickin' month ago and is still stuck at the factory. The next two guys are starting to suffer for PSDS and I can't even guess what month they can expect their Shelbys to arrive. The 4th guy is expecting his car to show up after the 1st of the year - maybe next Spring or Summer - so no PSDS for him. He waited over a year for his 2003 Mach 1 when those were on a long back order, so he's been through this before and knows he just has to be patient (amen). Hopefully all of you can find it within to have a lot of patience for your GT500's. They certainly aren't building the whole year's run now, there will be plenty of 2007's built and shipped all the way through summer of 2007 (a year from now!).

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B)-->

QUOTE(Five Oh B @ Jul 19 2006, 11:09 AM) 27856[/snapback]

You know, reading all the horror stories about dealers backing out of orders makes me wonder if it would have been much better for ALL dealers nationwide to refuse deposits and refuse to order cars for specific customers. The alternative would have been to just order popular colors of GT500's and put them up for sale whenever they arrive. No customer worries, no managing the wait, no deposit worries, etc. Just sell them when they are actually available on the lot. Some dealers actually did this and they are probably very happy they did. Those of us who actually took deposits and ordered very specific cars for customers have to help manage the wait with our customers so they don't go crazy.

 

I'm in constant contact with all four of our GT500 customers. The first guy's car was built over a frickin' month ago and is still stuck at the factory. The next two guys are starting to suffer for PSDS and I can't even guess what month they can expect their Shelbys to arrive. The 4th guy is expecting his car to show up after the 1st of the year - maybe next Spring or Summer - so no PSDS for him. He waited over a year for his 2003 Mach 1 when those were on a long back order, so he's been through this before and knows he just has to be patient (amen). Hopefully all of you can find it within to have a lot of patience for your GT500's. They certainly aren't building the whole year's run now, there will be plenty of 2007's built and shipped all the way through summer of 2007 (a year from now!).

 

 

 

Then what would I be getting for my 10k over MSRP? For the price dealers are getting I don't feel sorry that they have caused themselves problems.

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B)--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Five Oh B @ Jul 19 2006, 11:09 AM) 27856[/snapback]</div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec-->

You know, reading all the horror stories about dealers backing out of orders makes me wonder if it would have been much better for ALL dealers nationwide to refuse deposits and refuse to order cars for specific customers. The alternative would have been to just order popular colors of GT500's and put them up for sale whenever they arrive. No customer worries, no managing the wait, no deposit worries, etc. Just sell them when they are actually available on the lot. Some dealers actually did this and they are probably very happy they did. Those of us who actually took deposits and ordered very specific cars for customers have to help manage the wait with our customers so they don't go crazy.

 

I'm in constant contact with all four of our GT500 customers. The first guy's car was built over a frickin' month ago and is still stuck at the factory. The next two guys are starting to suffer for PSDS and I can't even guess what month they can expect their Shelbys to arrive. The 4th guy is expecting his car to show up after the 1st of the year - maybe next Spring or Summer - so no PSDS for him. He waited over a year for his 2003 Mach 1 when those were on a long back order, so he's been through this before and knows he just has to be patient (amen). Hopefully all of you can find it within to have a lot of patience for your GT500's. They certainly aren't building the whole year's run now, there will be plenty of 2007's built and shipped all the way through summer of 2007 (a year from now!).

Then what would I be getting for my 10k over MSRP? For the price dealers are getting I don't feel sorry that they have caused themselves problems.

 

 

Good point!

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And the Story goes on.

 

I called the (not so) local dealer on Monday, talked with the first person that answered the phone, didn't give him my name but asked if they had any Shelby's or if they could order one for me, the dude put me on hold came back about a minute later and said he believed they were getting 2 and they were both spoken for. As I am first on their list :happy feet: I was psych'd ( the first one to the owner, as I said before and the 2nd was mine Thank you Jesus!!! :yahoo: :happy feet: :yahoo: :happy feet: ).

 

I called back the next day to talk with the sales manager (this time I told them my name) and asked if they had heard anything about getting to order my or any GT500...he said, that they were able to order the one for the owner, but they were waiting on FoMoCo to give them another allocation. :blink: :blink:

 

He went on to say that he has called the other people on the list that were below me, apologized to them, and asked that they please come and pick up their deposits as they (the dealer) were not going to be able to fulfill their obligation to them (the purchasers). (none of them, there were only 3 or 4 on the entire list, has come in yet).

 

There was a post that I read earlier about FoMoCo giving the data on which dealerships have or had Shelby's to the SVT Group sometime late this month...hope that happens, I'm beginning to smell a lawsuit coming. :stirpot:

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B)-->

QUOTE(Five Oh B @ Jul 19 2006, 10:09 AM) 27856[/snapback]

I'm in constant contact with all four of our GT500 customers. The first guy's car was built over a frickin' month ago and is still stuck at the factory. The next two guys are starting to suffer for PSDS and I can't even guess what month they can expect their Shelbys to arrive. The 4th guy is expecting his car to show up after the 1st of the year - maybe next Spring or Summer - so no PSDS for him. He waited over a year for his 2003 Mach 1 when those were on a long back order, so he's been through this before and knows he just has to be patient (amen). Hopefully all of you can find it within to have a lot of patience for your GT500's. They certainly aren't building the whole year's run now, there will be plenty of 2007's built and shipped all the way through summer of 2007 (a year from now!).

 

 

Hey, Five Oh. I wish you were my sales dude. :)

 

It's cool that you keep in touch with your customers, builds rapport and all that.

 

DLW

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B)-->

QUOTE(Five Oh B @ Jul 19 2006, 08:09 AM) 27856[/snapback]

You know, reading all the horror stories about dealers backing out of orders makes me wonder if it would have been much better for ALL dealers nationwide to refuse deposits and refuse to order cars for specific customers. The alternative would have been to just order popular colors of GT500's and put them up for sale whenever they arrive. No customer worries, no managing the wait, no deposit worries, etc. Just sell them when they are actually available on the lot. Some dealers actually did this and they are probably very happy they did. Those of us who actually took deposits and ordered very specific cars for customers have to help manage the wait with our customers so they don't go crazy.

 

I'm in constant contact with all four of our GT500 customers. The first guy's car was built over a frickin' month ago and is still stuck at the factory. The next two guys are starting to suffer for PSDS and I can't even guess what month they can expect their Shelbys to arrive. The 4th guy is expecting his car to show up after the 1st of the year - maybe next Spring or Summer - so no PSDS for him. He waited over a year for his 2003 Mach 1 when those were on a long back order, so he's been through this before and knows he just has to be patient (amen). Hopefully all of you can find it within to have a lot of patience for your GT500's. They certainly aren't building the whole year's run now, there will be plenty of 2007's built and shipped all the way through summer of 2007 (a year from now!).

 

 

Good points, Five Oh.

 

But I think buyers will find things to complain about no matter what. It's not because most are bad or even complainers generally. It's because soooo many people want this car on a very emotional level and current demand obviously outstrips supply. Combine the two and you have a bunch of very stressed folks. Throw in rumors about delays, production never meeting demand, etc., and you have a group of people ready to burst. Mix in reports of dishonest/dishonorable dealers going back on deals and some will be ready to kill. For most people, stress comes out in the form of anger...gotta blame someone for causing all that stress. So, no matter what, you'll have a bunch of upset people venting to relieve stress. And, of course, the easy targets to "blame" for this "mess" are the dealers and Ford. God forbid we look at ourselves.

 

Take the whole market value issue. Some here complain that ADM is dishonest and call dealerships "stealerships" for maximizing profit...as if there is some element of thievery in that act. Some say the cars should be sold first come / first serve (...forget that this solves nothing and creates a host of problems). Others say the dealer should skip ADM, etc., and focus on building customer relationships (...which, logically, means the cars should go the dealers' best customers...but then we get complaints that joe blow can't compete with the small business owner buying 15 trucks/year).

 

The problem with ALL methods of allocating cars to buyers is that some will have to wait longer than others. Period. And that will get people upset if they are in the 'waiting' class instead of the 'getting early' class.

 

Most of those advocating various distribution/allocation schemes have two things in common: (1) they believe the scheme they're advocating will be more beneficial to THEM than the current market-based method of simply letting prices rise until supply and demand are equalized (who's "greedy" now?); (2) they don't want to look at the situation detached from emotion...which means they would have to skip looking at how they personally benefit under various different schemes, and instead determine the most "fair" and efficient method of allocation with respect to the market as a whole...and to be able to extrapolate that method to virtually any other market to confirm that it is "fair" and efficient.

 

If you've read my previoius posts, you know I am talking about wealth transfer when I say "fair"...and those that don't think wealth transfer is an important issue when developing market-based systems might want to rethink it in the context of watching the government take wealth from you and transfer it willy nillly to someone else simply because that someone else really really really wants your wealth. And, for good measure, maybe that someone else accuses you being greedy and stupid because you have what they want and you're unwilling to sell it at the price they want to pay.

 

So, unfortunately, Five Oh...if dealers did what you suggest you'd be accused of being extra greedy and extra extra arrogant...waiting until the car is on the floor for bids, not willing to work with buyers who are paying a premium, artificially creating product shortage, colluding with your fellow dealers, price fixing, turning your back on loyal customers, pushing people away from American manufacturers, causing the downfall of Ford, etc. I'm sure I can't even think of 90% of the bizarre things of which you'd be accused.

 

Five Oh, you're an upright guy and a huge contributor here. Thanks for all of your input! And, if I recall, you're charging ADM. Funny how that doesn't factor in to my assessment of you. I'm sure this is not so for many here (...though many who are down on dealerships because of ADM will make an exception for you because they feel you've helped them personally via your posts...just another example that many are "analyzing" based on emotion and how they are personally impacted).

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B)-->

QUOTE(Five Oh B @ Jul 19 2006, 11:09 AM) 27856[/snapback]

You know, reading all the horror stories about dealers backing out of orders makes me wonder if it would have been much better for ALL dealers nationwide to refuse deposits and refuse to order cars for specific customers. The alternative would have been to just order popular colors of GT500's and put them up for sale whenever they arrive. No customer worries, no managing the wait, no deposit worries, etc. Just sell them when they are actually available on the lot. Some dealers actually did this and they are probably very happy they did. Those of us who actually took deposits and ordered very specific cars for customers have to help manage the wait with our customers so they don't go crazy.

 

I'm in constant contact with all four of our GT500 customers. The first guy's car was built over a frickin' month ago and is still stuck at the factory. The next two guys are starting to suffer for PSDS and I can't even guess what month they can expect their Shelbys to arrive. The 4th guy is expecting his car to show up after the 1st of the year - maybe next Spring or Summer - so no PSDS for him. He waited over a year for his 2003 Mach 1 when those were on a long back order, so he's been through this before and knows he just has to be patient (amen). Hopefully all of you can find it within to have a lot of patience for your GT500's. They certainly aren't building the whole year's run now, there will be plenty of 2007's built and shipped all the way through summer of 2007 (a year from now!).

 

Five Oh, I hope you are being a bit sarcastic. As a customer, I'd be highly upset if a dealer would not let me order exactly what I wanted. After all, I AM the customer.

 

That said, I think three things need to happen to make a lot of this pain go away.

 

First, I think dealers need to manage expectations. Telling customers "you'll get my first one" without explaining how complex the process is leaves the customer thinking they'll get a car within days of production starting. After all, if there are 3,500 dealers, then the "first one" could more than 1/3 of the way through the production year (based on 9000 annual production)...which would mean it would not be produced until sometime in October.

 

Secondly, customers need to be more patient and understanding of the complex process. I for one was told by my dealer that he "doesn't have any idea" when he'll get the car. In my mind, that means the best case woudl be end of June 2006, and worst case is probably more like early October 2007 (I'm not clear on which month they will switch over from 2007 to 2008 MY). I do not call my dealer and ask them every week if they know any more. I don't continually put memos on the board about how my car is on "material hold" and how Ford has screwed everything up. I simply wait. I told my dealership that I may call him every few months just to see what's going on...but I certainly don't pressure him or complain about how long it's taking.

 

Third, I think Ford should take a hard look at their complex allocation logic to dealerships. I'm sure it's set up to incentivize the dealer to sell more SVT vehicles and become a PA winner, but we see from this site that it introduces a level of confusion into the process such that neither dealers nor customers know when (approximately) they will get their cars. I'm sure they'll never go to a "first ordered, first received" method, but some hybrid in the middle may be better than what they currently do. They seem to be putting the dealer's "happiness" ahead of the customer's "happiness"...usually not a good idea.

 

I think a combination of the above three issues has a lot of people upset. In some cases, rightfully so since the dealer tells them something and it ends up being incorrect. And to those that use the VOPC, we must remember that this line is not intended for customers, only dealers. It does seem a bit unfortunate that Ford doesn't have a better system for tracking cars. It certainly would be nice if they were more like Dell, where you can watch your ordered computer using their online tracking tool to see where it is in the production process. I'm sure Ford, due to it's age, has many legacy systems that would require significant upgrades to be able to do this...and it's likely that the only people that use it would be the small number of enthusiasts like ourselves. After all, Five Oh, you should be able to tell us...what percentage of customers buy either a car off the lot or one that can be "dealer located" rather than ordering exactly what they want? I'd venture to say it's more than 1/2.

 

I'm sure it's no fun working at a dealership and watching all the trash talk on the forum about dealers. I've tried to insert some reality a few times in defense of the "system", as I work at a company with many of the same complex business processes and systems and we struggle with the same issues.

 

Hang in there. :party:

 

Dave

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I think PSDS and dealer order methods are largely unrelated.

 

What ticks people off is dealers that reneg.

 

My2nd'Stang has a 100% legal contract (in writing, $500 deposit). Sale of the dealership cannot extinguish that obligation -- it's a matter of US Corporation law!

 

My2nd'Stang, let me suggest you do not accept a refund of your deposit. If they send it anyway (which they will do), return it with a letter stating you expect them to honor their obligation (100% conistent with US Corporation law). Be sure to include a copy of anythng written that supports your contract (even if just a memo-note on your deposit check) and be sure to make visible on the letter that you have CC'd your lawyer. If you don't budge, that car will be yours. If you flinch and take your deposit back, they know they can legally sell your order to highest bidder.

 

With up-front and honest dealers like Five Oh B and Isellford and some others in here, it's sad this is happening to so many people at the hands of the dishonest dealers. I think the opportunity this car presents makes it fodder for underhanded practices, and even some otherwise honorable dealers have stepped over the line. Fortunately, and I hope not naiively, I think the large majority of dealers are honorable and recongnize the value of cultivating long term relationships (duh!). Honest dealers should somehow be rewarded, but honesty is the law so it seems inappropriate to reward dealer for not breaking the law.

 

I like that the PA dealers got first shot this time, but the basis of receiving the PA is often skewed to the service end of the business and it's possible sales and service have very different personalities even if they generate similar customer-sat profiles. Some of the sat survey questions are a joke in that they do not even permit meaningfully applicable responses -- but that's another topic. I base that comment on conversations I've had with our local dealer service management and friends in Ford dealerships over the years -- that's just my observation, but it is also based on personal corporate experience designing and executing 'open' and 'unbiased' surveys.

 

In the end, whatever legal sales methods dealers use (order vs lot-sales, ADM vs lottery vs auction) is unimportant. What's important is frank and honest customer dialog and treatment. Even if a dealer is small or maybe clueless in terms of keeping current, that doesn't piss folks off much -- that's just not being informed -- and people forgive that easily IMHO even though it's an annoyance. But if you make a commitment, you keep it -- period. Besides, it's the law. If a dealer doesn't, they should expect more than annoyance -- they should expect indignanace and lawsuits. On balance, I think the reaction of customers to renegs is overly leanient due to a minimal understanding their legal rights. :rant:

 

:soapbox::extinguish:

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I think PSDS and dealer order methods are largely unrelated.

 

What ticks people off is dealers that reneg.

 

My2nd'Stang has a 100% legal contract (in writing, $500 deposit). Sale of the dealership cannot extinguish that obligation -- it's a matter of US Corporation law!

 

My2nd'Stang, let me suggest you do not accept a refund of your deposit. If they send it anyway (which they will do), return it with a letter stating you expect them to honor their obligation (100% conistent with US Corporation law). Be sure to include a copy of anythng written that supports your contract (even if just a memo-note on your deposit check) and be sure to make visible on the letter that you have CC'd your lawyer. If you don't budge, that car will be yours. If you flinch and take your deposit back, they know they can legally sell your order to highest bidder.

 

With up-front and honest dealers like Five Oh B and Isellford and some others in here, it's sad this is happening to so many people at the hands of the dishonest dealers. I think the opportunity this car presents makes it fodder for underhanded practices, and even some otherwise honorable dealers have stepped over the line. Fortunately, and I hope not naiively, I think the large majority of dealers are honorable and recongnize the value of cultivating long term relationships (duh!). Honest dealers should somehow be rewarded, but honesty is the law so it seems inappropriate to reward dealer for not breaking the law.

 

I like that the PA dealers got first shot this time, but the basis of receiving the PA is often skewed to the service end of the business and it's possible sales and service have very different personalities even if they generate similar customer-sat profiles. Some of the sat survey questions are a joke in that they do not even permit meaningfully applicable responses -- but that's another topic. I base that comment on conversations I've had with our local dealer service management and friends in Ford dealerships over the years -- that's just my observation, but it is also based on personal corporate experience designing and executing 'open' and 'unbiased' surveys.

 

In the end, whatever legal sales methods dealers use (order vs lot-sales, ADM vs lottery vs auction) is unimportant. What's important is frank and honest customer dialog and treatment. Even if a dealer is small or maybe clueless in terms of keeping current, that doesn't piss folks off much -- that's just not being informed -- and people forgive that easily IMHO even though it's an annoyance. But if you make a commitment, you keep it -- period. Besides, it's the law. If a dealer doesn't, they should expect more than annoyance -- they should expect indignanace and lawsuits. On balance, I think the reaction of customers to renegs is overly leanient due to a minimal understanding their legal rights. :rant:

 

:soapbox::extinguish:

 

 

68Fastback,

There have been several well written, thoughtful posts to this topic, but I think yours is especially accurate and insightful.

 

:rockon:

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What ticks people off is dealers that reneg.

 

My2nd'Stang has a 100% legal contract (in writing, $500 deposit). Sale of the dealership cannot extinguish that obligation -- it's a matter of US Corporation law!

 

 

 

 

Dealers that renege certainly tick me off.

 

But before My2ndStang (or anyone else believing their dealer is in breach) discusses this with his dealer, I'd suggest he gets a very good handle on his actual recourse and the legal rules governing the obligations of his dealer. Consulting an attorney is a good idea. If you don't want to spend the money on that, then a little research goes a long ways.

 

My understanding (through experience, though I've always used attorneys for contract disputes): typically, contracts of this sort are governed by state law. Usually you'll find the relevant information in the state's civil code, civil statutes, etc. Most states publish this information on line (e.g. for CA, see http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/calaw.html Look under Civil Code and you'll find a large section dealing with contracts and obligations under contracts). I'm sure there are attorneys here who can give better advice.

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B)--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Five Oh B @ Jul 19 2006, 08:09 AM) 27856[/snapback]</div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec-->

You know, reading all the horror stories about dealers backing out of orders makes me wonder if it would have been much better for ALL dealers nationwide to refuse deposits and refuse to order cars for specific customers. The alternative would have been to just order popular colors of GT500's and put them up for sale whenever they arrive. No customer worries, no managing the wait, no deposit worries, etc. Just sell them when they are actually available on the lot. Some dealers actually did this and they are probably very happy they did. Those of us who actually took deposits and ordered very specific cars for customers have to help manage the wait with our customers so they don't go crazy.

 

I'm in constant contact with all four of our GT500 customers. The first guy's car was built over a frickin' month ago and is still stuck at the factory. The next two guys are starting to suffer for PSDS and I can't even guess what month they can expect their Shelbys to arrive. The 4th guy is expecting his car to show up after the 1st of the year - maybe next Spring or Summer - so no PSDS for him. He waited over a year for his 2003 Mach 1 when those were on a long back order, so he's been through this before and knows he just has to be patient (amen). Hopefully all of you can find it within to have a lot of patience for your GT500's. They certainly aren't building the whole year's run now, there will be plenty of 2007's built and shipped all the way through summer of 2007 (a year from now!).

Good points, Five Oh.

 

But I think buyers will find things to complain about no matter what. It's not because most are bad or even complainers generally. It's because soooo many people want this car on a very emotional level and current demand obviously outstrips supply. Combine the two and you have a bunch of very stressed folks. Throw in rumors about delays, production never meeting demand, etc., and you have a group of people ready to burst. Mix in reports of dishonest/dishonorable dealers going back on deals and some will be ready to kill. For most people, stress comes out in the form of anger...gotta blame someone for causing all that stress. So, no matter what, you'll have a bunch of upset people venting to relieve stress. And, of course, the easy targets to "blame" for this "mess" are the dealers and Ford. God forbid we look at ourselves.

 

Take the whole market value issue. Some here complain that ADM is dishonest and call dealerships "stealerships" for maximizing profit...as if there is some element of thievery in that act. Some say the cars should be sold first come / first serve (...forget that this solves nothing and creates a host of problems). Others say the dealer should skip ADM, etc., and focus on building customer relationships (...which, logically, means the cars should go the dealers' best customers...but then we get complaints that joe blow can't compete with the small business owner buying 15 trucks/year).

 

The problem with ALL methods of allocating cars to buyers is that some will have to wait longer than others. Period. And that will get people upset if they are in the 'waiting' class instead of the 'getting early' class.

 

Most of those advocating various distribution/allocation schemes have two things in common: (1) they believe the scheme they're advocating will be more beneficial to THEM than the current market-based method of simply letting prices rise until supply and demand are equalized (who's "greedy" now?); (2) they don't want to look at the situation detached from emotion...which means they would have to skip looking at how they personally benefit under various different schemes, and instead determine the most "fair" and efficient method of allocation with respect to the market as a whole...and to be able to extrapolate that method to virtually any other market to confirm that it is "fair" and efficient.

 

If you've read my previoius posts, you know I am talking about wealth transfer when I say "fair"...and those that don't think wealth transfer is an important issue when developing market-based systems might want to rethink it in the context of watching the government take wealth from you and transfer it willy nillly to someone else simply because that someone else really really really wants your wealth. And, for good measure, maybe that someone else accuses you being greedy and stupid because you have what they want and you're unwilling to sell it at the price they want to pay.

 

So, unfortunately, Five Oh...if dealers did what you suggest you'd be accused of being extra greedy and extra extra arrogant...waiting until the car is on the floor for bids, not willing to work with buyers who are paying a premium, artificially creating product shortage, colluding with your fellow dealers, price fixing, turning your back on loyal customers, pushing people away from American manufacturers, causing the downfall of Ford, etc. I'm sure I can't even think of 90% of the bizarre things of which you'd be accused.

 

Five Oh, you're an upright guy and a huge contributor here. Thanks for all of your input! And, if I recall, you're charging ADM. Funny how that doesn't factor in to my assessment of you. I'm sure this is not so for many here (...though many who are down on dealerships because of ADM will make an exception for you because they feel you've helped them personally via your posts...just another example that many are "analyzing" based on emotion and how they are personally impacted).

 

 

Wow, Jrichard, great post! Thanks for your insights on differing ways of allocating GT500's to customers and our market economy. And, yes, our ADM is $10K. Just high enough to make the owner happy, while simultaneously offending as few of our customers as possible! All 4 of our GT500's are ordered at $10K over. 20 more customers on our list willing to pay us $10K over if we can get more allocation. 40+ more customers on our list who want to wait for a chance to buy at MSRP (if that ever happens).

 

 

Then what would I be getting for my 10k over MSRP? For the price dealers are getting I don't feel sorry that they have caused themselves problems.

 

 

$10K over MSRP guarantees our customers that they will, in fact, get a 2007 GT500 from us and that we will not bump them for a higher/better offer.

 

We did not cause our problem. Our problem being that Ford will not allocate enough GT500's to our dealership to satisfy our local demand.

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B)--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Five Oh B @ Jul 19 2006, 11:09 AM) 27856[/snapback]</div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec-->

You know, reading all the horror stories about dealers backing out of orders makes me wonder if it would have been much better for ALL dealers nationwide to refuse deposits and refuse to order cars for specific customers. The alternative would have been to just order popular colors of GT500's and put them up for sale whenever they arrive. No customer worries, no managing the wait, no deposit worries, etc. Just sell them when they are actually available on the lot. Some dealers actually did this and they are probably very happy they did. Those of us who actually took deposits and ordered very specific cars for customers have to help manage the wait with our customers so they don't go crazy.

 

I'm in constant contact with all four of our GT500 customers. The first guy's car was built over a frickin' month ago and is still stuck at the factory. The next two guys are starting to suffer for PSDS and I can't even guess what month they can expect their Shelbys to arrive. The 4th guy is expecting his car to show up after the 1st of the year - maybe next Spring or Summer - so no PSDS for him. He waited over a year for his 2003 Mach 1 when those were on a long back order, so he's been through this before and knows he just has to be patient (amen). Hopefully all of you can find it within to have a lot of patience for your GT500's. They certainly aren't building the whole year's run now, there will be plenty of 2007's built and shipped all the way through summer of 2007 (a year from now!).

 

Five Oh, I hope you are being a bit sarcastic. As a customer, I'd be highly upset if a dealer would not let me order exactly what I wanted. After all, I AM the customer.

 

That said, I think three things need to happen to make a lot of this pain go away.

 

First, I think dealers need to manage expectations. Telling customers "you'll get my first one" without explaining how complex the process is leaves the customer thinking they'll get a car within days of production starting. After all, if there are 3,500 dealers, then the "first one" could more than 1/3 of the way through the production year (based on 9000 annual production)...which would mean it would not be produced until sometime in October.

 

Secondly, customers need to be more patient and understanding of the complex process. I for one was told by my dealer that he "doesn't have any idea" when he'll get the car. In my mind, that means the best case woudl be end of June 2006, and worst case is probably more like early October 2007 (I'm not clear on which month they will switch over from 2007 to 2008 MY). I do not call my dealer and ask them every week if they know any more. I don't continually put memos on the board about how my car is on "material hold" and how Ford has screwed everything up. I simply wait. I told my dealership that I may call him every few months just to see what's going on...but I certainly don't pressure him or complain about how long it's taking.

 

Third, I think Ford should take a hard look at their complex allocation logic to dealerships. I'm sure it's set up to incentivize the dealer to sell more SVT vehicles and become a PA winner, but we see from this site that it introduces a level of confusion into the process such that neither dealers nor customers know when (approximately) they will get their cars. I'm sure they'll never go to a "first ordered, first received" method, but some hybrid in the middle may be better than what they currently do. They seem to be putting the dealer's "happiness" ahead of the customer's "happiness"...usually not a good idea.

 

I think a combination of the above three issues has a lot of people upset. In some cases, rightfully so since the dealer tells them something and it ends up being incorrect. And to those that use the VOPC, we must remember that this line is not intended for customers, only dealers. It does seem a bit unfortunate that Ford doesn't have a better system for tracking cars. It certainly would be nice if they were more like Dell, where you can watch your ordered computer using their online tracking tool to see where it is in the production process. I'm sure Ford, due to it's age, has many legacy systems that would require significant upgrades to be able to do this...and it's likely that the only people that use it would be the small number of enthusiasts like ourselves. After all, Five Oh, you should be able to tell us...what percentage of customers buy either a car off the lot or one that can be "dealer located" rather than ordering exactly what they want? I'd venture to say it's more than 1/2.

 

I'm sure it's no fun working at a dealership and watching all the trash talk on the forum about dealers. I've tried to insert some reality a few times in defense of the "system", as I work at a company with many of the same complex business processes and systems and we struggle with the same issues.

 

Hang in there. :party:

 

Dave

 

 

Dave,

 

Thanks for being able to see both sides of the issue. I can tell you that of all the cars, SUV's, and trucks we sell, that about 50% are purchased from our current inventory sitting outside on the lot. About 30% are purchased by us trading with another dealer to get something specific that we didn't already have. The remaining 20% are special orders built to the customers' specs. That's a big percentage of cars being special ordered here because we are happy to do it to get exactly what a customer wants, even though it means taking awhile to get the car (and get paid). Many dealers simply do not want to do this, so it is frowned upon at many lots.

 

Ford's allocation and ordering system works pretty well most of the time for a mainstream product. For example, customer wants to special order a sedan, truck, SUV, etc. It is safe to say that 80% of those special ordered vehicles arrive in about 6-7 weeks. A small percentage get here quicker (3-5 weeks), while some may take longer (limited production, commodities restrictions, issues at the factory, vacations, high demand, etc.). Gosh, the GT500's are taking longer for all of those reasons, but the GT500 situation is very unique. As I said, 80% of what we order shows up in a timely fashion and are very easy to track!

 

Yes, Dave, I was being sarcastic about just ordering GT500's and selling them once they arrived and not reserving them. Our dealership considered doing just that, but that idea was shot down immediately and we special ordered all four GT500's built in the color/options that our 4 lucky customers chose.

 

Dave, managing customer expectations is key, as you noted. When Ford introduced the 2002 Thunderbird show car, we were sent a very detailed letter on how to "manage the wait." Many of the early 2002 T-Bird buyers had to wait 12-15 months for their cars from the time we placed orders. Ford did not them to think the cars would all be magically built ASAP and in their hands in short order. Ford did not send such a letter regarding the GT500 - perhaps they figured most dealers would remember based on the T-Bird wait times. However, other than telling our #1 GT500 customer that his car would be here pronto because it was first, we've made it clear to #2 & #3 that the wait will be many, many months even to get a VIN #, let alone a car. #4 has been through this before (waited 12+ months for a special ordered 03 Mach 1), so he is banking on waiting til June of NEXT year for his GT500 to arrive. If it comes earlier, then we'll look like heroes.

 

Anyone remember Veruca Salt in Willy Wanka and the Chocolate Factory movie? "I want an Oompa Loompa, and I want it NOW, daddy!" I'm glad she doesn't have an order in for a GT500.

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QUOTE(Five Oh B @ Jul 19 2006, 08:09 AM) 27856[/snapback]

You know, reading all the horror stories about dealers backing out of orders makes me wonder if it would have been much better for ALL dealers nationwide to refuse deposits and refuse to order cars for specific customers. The alternative would have been to just order popular colors of GT500's and put them up for sale whenever they arrive. No customer worries, no managing the wait, no deposit worries, etc. Just sell them when they are actually available on the lot. Some dealers actually did this and they are probably very happy they did. Those of us who actually took deposits and ordered very specific cars for customers have to help manage the wait with our customers so they don't go crazy.

 

I'm in constant contact with all four of our GT500 customers. The first guy's car was built over a frickin' month ago and is still stuck at the factory. The next two guys are starting to suffer for PSDS and I can't even guess what month they can expect their Shelbys to arrive. The 4th guy is expecting his car to show up after the 1st of the year - maybe next Spring or Summer - so no PSDS for him. He waited over a year for his 2003 Mach 1 when those were on a long back order, so he's been through this before and knows he just has to be patient (amen). Hopefully all of you can find it within to have a lot of patience for your GT500's. They certainly aren't building the whole year's run now, there will be plenty of 2007's built and shipped all the way through summer of 2007 (a year from now!).

 

 

 

 

Tell me Five Oh B, how about the PowerLease customers that haven't gotten ther cars?

 

Do you think Ford was OK in not fulfilling there promise to us...

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Dealers that renege certainly tick me off.

 

But before My2ndStang (or anyone else believing their dealer is in breach) discusses this with his dealer, I'd suggest he gets a very good handle on his actual recourse and the legal rules governing the obligations of his dealer. Consulting an attorney is a good idea. If you don't want to spend the money on that, then a little research goes a long ways.

 

My understanding (through experience, though I've always used attorneys for contract disputes): typically, contracts of this sort are governed by state law. Usually you'll find the relevant information in the state's civil code, civil statutes, etc. Most states publish this information on line (e.g. for CA, see http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/calaw.html Look under Civil Code and you'll find a large section dealing with contracts and obligations under contracts). I'm sure there are attorneys here who can give better advice.

 

 

Great advice, JR.

 

Often attorneys will tell you not to talk to the dealer and, instead, recommend a letter covering specific points to cover based on the individual situation. Many attorneys, if you already have a realtionship with one you've used for house closings or whatever, will often give you such advice for free over-the-phone.

 

I should have pointed out (as I had in other threads that touched this subject) that I am not an attorney. Actually I had written a more extensive post but lost it when the site/server hung as I was posting it.

 

In My2nd'Stang's case, his contract is valid universally (assuming it's as My2nd'Stang indicated: agreement in writing for MSRP with a proveable deposit), though the specific course of action to remedy the problem may vary from state to state. State requirements can recommend (or even mandate) language to make a contract easier to test or prove but cannot negate the validity of any written agreement (or verbal, if not for real estate) with at least $1 of consideration as far as I'm aware. Generally, such disputes don't go to court because the dealer knows they're over the line -- they just hope the customer donesn't know and accepts a refund of the deposit -- big mistake. Once they see you know your rights, they'll likely back off, in my limited experience.

 

A dealer would have to be incredably dense to think s/he can actually 'win' such a publically airable dispute, especially since a savvy customer has the media, public protest and other creative 'stunts' at their disposal (one of which was pointed out in another post) -- they work!. Of course, care must be taken not to say anything to the media (or anyone else) that is potentially actionable (liable, slander, etc). When in doubt, do what seasoned copywriters and news stations do: always make your accusation in the form of a question, or with an alternate interpretation or both. Just watch most any TV commercial (alternate interpretation) or provocative TV news tagline (accusation in the form of a question); copywriters and news agencies are masters of non-actionable deception by design. E.g. Do you think he wasn't lying to my face when we inked that deal? Do you think they believe they can actually lie to people and get away with it? Why would anyone buy from a dealer who lies to their customers face? Have you asked them how they can sleep at night knowing how violated I feel? Do they treat all their customers this way? You get the idea. Not suggesting anyone do this or not, but it can be a viable strategy. Bad PR is far more expensive honoring an already profitable contract.

 

Lest someone see this post and forget the prior history -- I recognize such dealers are the exception for sure, but they are the source of major frustration and anger... just ask anyone whose been wronged. Being had by someone you trusted is never a fulfilling experience. Being renegged on with a written agreement and a deposit is an insult -- it's a direct affront. Reasonable principled people will walk away from being 'had' and reluctantly chalk and it up to experience. But it's hard for a even a reasonable principled person to walk away from a reneg without feeling you walked way from your principles -- that's what makes it infuriating IMHO.

 

<edit:> and a classic alt-interpretation example: "we will sell no wine before it's time" :)

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B)-->

QUOTE(Five Oh B @ Jul 19 2006, 08:16 PM) 27964[/snapback]

 

Anyone remember Veruca Salt in Willy Wanka and the Chocolate Factory movie? "I want an Oompa Loompa, and I want it NOW, daddy!" I'm glad she doesn't have an order in for a GT500.

 

 

LOL @ Veruca. What a selfish pig. :violin:

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  • 6 months later...

Update, Update, Update.

 

Called the dealership a couple of days ago and talked with the sales manager that I've been working with, he told me he was being transferred and promoted to General Manager at another dealership in another city, but would still be working for the same group. (Oh man, I'm not feeling good about this :unsure: ) I congratulated him, and I wish him well for I felt he dealt honestly with me.

 

I waited two days and then drove to the dealership after work one morning (I work 3rd shift, midnight to 8:00am :boring: ), before I even got outta my car I noticed a very familiar color scheme, hmmm, black with silver lemans stripes, yeah it's a Shelby GT. I went inside and asked for the owner, then introduced myself to him, after we talked for a few moments, he invited me into his office. :huh: :headscratch:

 

He asked me to sit down, :do what: :nonono: (this ain't looking good). I sat, and he proceeded with, "I gotta be honest with ya', I'm not happy with the deal (MSRP) my sales manager made with you... but, no, were not brushing you off, we just haven't gotten another allocation for a Shelby GT500." (Okay, so I still haven't gotten the "we're sorry" routine.)

 

We talked a little more about Mustangs, Carroll Shelby, Amy, GT350s and Bullitts, turns out, the owner's brother is a Winston Cup Champion. (I checked)

 

He then asked if I would like to see their new Mustang (the Shelby GT), of course I accepted!!! :rolleyes:

 

We went out, he got the keys handed them to me and said go ahead start her up...Ssaahhwweeeeettt!!

I gotta tell ya', the Shelby GT sounds, (in my best impersonation of Loius Armstrong "nice, real nice".)

 

We talked some more about his car collection including a '68 Mustang that he is having restored.

 

I thank him for his time, and then went home, not really accomplishing anything, but somehow, I felt better.

 

Yesterday, I got the call from the dealership. Funny how that worked out. My car is being ordered, they just wanted to check over the details and options. Sweet.

 

Okay so it took 1 year, 2 months, and 4 days after accepting my deposit, to get the car ordered. (but hey who's counting? :hysterical: )

 

DLW

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