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Wednesday, 26 January 2022 10:34

Automakers Want to Become Order Takers

Written by Steven Symes, Motorious

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An article from Axios points out a phenomenon we’ve been noticing for a while: car dealerships in America are becoming like dealerships in Europe.

More specifically, shoppers here are now growing accustomed to going to a dealer not to buy a new car, truck or SUV on the spot, but instead to order the exact spec they want. Then, in a month or few, the vehicle they ordered arrives at the dealership and the customer takes delivery.

 

Not everyone is excited about this new reality, although Axios seems to like it. The article argues this European way is more efficient since automakers and dealerships know exactly what customers want and cars are made to order.

 

Sure, people could always order a car from the dealer, but a lot of Americans preferred to just find something which floated their boat and was in stock, then drive it home the same day.

 

Automakers also seem to like this new way of doing business in America, especially Ford. Ford CEO Jim Farley is quoted in the article: "You cannot imagine ... how much money we waste by not---by guessing what our launch mix is for a new product." He was speaking to investors in October when he said this, but you can understand why Ford is offering a $1,000 discount if you pre-order a vehicle.

 

So far, Ford has successfully been training Mach-E customers to order their ride, then wait for it to be made. This is possible, Axios claims, because the all-electric, four-door Mustang crossover is “in high demand.”

 

What Axios doesn’t point out is this pre-order shopping scheme gives automakers and dealerships plenty of leverage. You, as the consumer, can’t...


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