Ford wants to sell cars, specifically EVs, online for fixed prices
The company says it will still be possible to buy cars at dealerships, who will be able to set their own price
The details of the arrangement are still being worked on, hence why some elements are confusing
Recent comments from Jim Farley, the CEO of Ford Motor Company, in which he said the automaker will be going to a “100 percent online” buying process have led to some confusion.
Ford has now cleared some of this confusion, but the details of the program are still quite hazy and some even appear to contradict themselves directly.
According to the company, the CEO’s comments mean that the buying process will be done online rather than at a dealer, not that the company will get rid of its dealerships. Indeed, Ford confirmed it will not abandon its established dealerships and it even said that customers will still be able to enter their local Ford dealer to order a new vehicle. The difference is that the employee would help them order a vehicle on the company’s website, a similar practice to Tesla and Polestar.
This will be done to remove the price negotiation that usually takes place between the salesperson and the buyer as well as to make it impossible for dealers to place a large markup on the price of popular vehicles, as is happening with some of Ford’s newest models, such as the Maverick, the Bronco, and the F-150 Lightning.
Where there is still confusion is when Ford says that its vehicles will be offered at a single price, but dealers will still be able to set their own sales price. That doesn’t sound too different from the current model where the manufacturer suggests a price (the MSRP) and then the dealer chooses to add or subtract a certain amount.
According to the automaker, dealerships will all have to invest some of their own money to fund the transition to this new business model, but the amount coming out of each establishment’s pockets will depend on the size of their business and their location.
The details for this new business model are being worked on by the automaker, who is reportedly taking a clean-sheet approach and trying to rebuild a completely new way of selling vehicles, in collaboration with some of its current dealer body.