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Ford warns dealers taking advantage of F150 Lightning reservation holders

Ford issued a warning to dealerships that are taking advantage of F150 Lightning reservation holders and asking for more money.

But it looks like it might not be able to prevent markups.

Last week, we published a report about how some Ford dealers are taking advantage of the strong demand for F-150 Lightning to mark it up by as much as $30,000.

Some of them were asking for ridiculous prices for the first few units of the electric pickup truck that they are expecting to get.

A few of them were also asking for bigger deposits to get access to those early units.

Now a bulletin that Ford sent to its dealerships shows that the automaker is attempting to crack down on some of those practices.

Andrew Frick, Ford’s vice president of sales in the US and Canada, wrote in the message that was leaked on the F150 Gen14 forum:

It has come to our attention that a limited number of dealerships are interacting with customers in a manner that is negatively impacting customers and damaging to the Ford Motor Company brand and Dealer Body reputation.

This is kind of vague, but Frick continued with an example:

Examples of these negative interactions include demanding that customers who are already on the reservation list for the 22 MY F-150 Lightning make additional deposits or payments. These actions are perceived as threatening customers by withholding their opportunity to convert reservations to orders.

The executive warned that this goes against a clause in its dealership agreement, and it could decide to “redirect” allocations of the F-150 Lightning to other dealers.

However, the warning sounds like it is more about dealers asking for additional payment pre-delivery to maintain a position in the reservation list rather than asking for a higher markup, which Ford can’t control much.

In the same bulletin, Ford also tells its dealers that it supports them adding a “no-sale provision” to its contracts with F-150 Lightning buyers that would prevent them from selling their newly bought pickup truck for a year.

Electrek’s Take

This looks like an effort from Ford to warn dealers that it is looking at the shenanigans that some of them are doing, but it doesn’t sound like Ford can straight-up prevent them from marking up the vehicles.

To be fair, several Ford dealers have already agreed to sell the electric pickup at MSRP, and maybe this warning convinces others to do the same if they want to secure an allocation.

I am not sure what the no-sale provision has to do with this.

Maybe they think that some buyers are going to be willing to pay the higher markup in hopes to resell the vehicle, and they think this is contributing to the issue.

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