So, you placed your order for a Mustang Mach-E. You’re all set and know what car you’re going to get and how much you’re going to have to pay for it… right?
Don’t be so sure. Gustavo Henrique Ruffo makes a great point over at InsideEVs with an article titled “Ford Still Carries an Extra Burden Compared to Tesla: Dealerships“.
They noted the fine print on the Mustang Mach-E order page:
Participation in the program does not guarantee you vehicle delivery. You must contact a dealer to discuss final transaction pricing, arrange any necessary financing, and complete your purchase of the vehicle. Your reservation does not guarantee a set price for the vehicle. The dealer sets the vehicle price, which may differ from the MSRP.InsideEVs
Ford may be trying to imitate Tesla’s reservation model, but it has no ability to actually sell vehicles to customers. Because of state laws designed to limit competition, Ford is only allowed to sell vehicles through its dealership network. It can make suggestions, but ultimately they can only sell vehicles to dealerships and hope they will try and make the experience good for the customer. The dealership can charge anything they want.
Ford is smart enough to know Tesla has an advantage here, and are doing everything they can to make sure Ford dealerships provide a good experience for EV buyers:
In documents sent to dealers viewed by CarsDirect, the automaker dictated a strict MSRP (manufacturer suggested retail price) policy for the electric SUV. The Tuesday report highlights the fact Ford does not want dealers advertising the Mustang Mach-E at a price under the MSRP.Road Show
Dealers will typically try and undercut each other on price to try and bring more customers in from further away, looking for a deal.
Don’t let that confuse you to think dealers will actually sell the electric SUV at MSRP. There’s ultimately still nothing stopping dealers from charging more or less or Mustang Mach-ERoad Show
So if they can’t charge more… and they’re not going to charge MSRP… expect to be price gouged shopping for a Mach-E. If you reserved a Mach-E, you’re going to have your fingers crossed that some dealership is actually willing to sell you that car at the price you agreed to.
This is nothing new for EVs sold through dealerships. Earlier this year, we saw a lot of price gouging around the release of the Hyundai Kona EV.
Here’s what Ford had to say about the issue:
We are sharing recommended pricing with dealers and customers to simplify the purchase experience. Ultimately, customers and dealers will agree to the final price of the vehicle relative to our recommended price.Ford
Translation: The price we are listing is not the price you’re going to pay. (And the price they listed wasn’t exactly a good deal either).
If dealers adhere to the rules Ford’s set, they’ll get a reward. They include allowances and assurance the dealer can still sell Ford EVs.Road Show
There’s only one car company that doesn’t have to pay anyone off to make sure you have a good experience.
Of course, demand will ultimately dictate a sale price. If the electric SUV sells like hot cakes, certainly look for higher prices. If this is an electric pony just putzing around dealer lots, look for cheaper deals.Road Show
And when you’re tired of waiting for hours at your local stealership, look for a Tesla.
All said and done, Ford expects to build 50,000 of the electric SUVs in its first year for global markets.Road Show
That’s cute. Model 3 and Model Y sales will leave this thing in the dust. Hell, Model S and Model X will probably outsell it too.
To close off, listen to this call where someone asks a Ford dealership about the Mustang Mach-E:
Ford is trying to emulate the Tesla model with the Mustang Mach-E. There’s just one small problem: Dealerships.Tweet