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Improve Communication w/Dealers

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Ford should improve its communication with its dealers. Ford outlined a 10 step plan for improving the company going forward while presenting quarterly results. Improving communications with dealers should also be a focus for Ford; especially as more competitors enter the truck market. often dealers are left in the dark about their stock and retail orders; this has been an issue well before the current shortages. Consumers may ask for unreasonable/unrealistic measures to take place to address this issue, but feedback from dealers on the poor communication can help improve sales for Ford and by relation the dealerships. 

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Agree 100%, if I was a dealer representing Ford I would be embarrassed over the lack of communication between the dealers and Ford. I believe in Jim Farley's presentation to the stock holders he committed to "treat customers like family". 

It must be terrible to try to explain to a customer who ordered in 2020 that they have no idea when that customer might see his vehicle when someone in April just received theirs exactly the same build but possibly a different color.

Everyone understands the chip issue but the lack of communication and seemingly not having a plan to move forward puts the dealers in an awful position.

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I agree to a point but many times the dealer is at fault as well. I never hear from my dealer unless I call them for an update, and even then I feel like I'm being a nuisance.  I was told I'll contact you the moment your truck gets a vin# but I never heard a peep.  Hell I called them with the Vin# and that was 3 weeks after is was assigned.  I've learned your dealer can run a Vehicle Visibility Report and get you updated information but the don't unless you ask.  Can Ford do more..sure but  I'm just saying the dealers don't go out of their way to keep you informed either and then blame Ford when you get frustrated.

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13 hours ago, J-Hop said:

I agree to a point but many times the dealer is at fault as well. I never hear from my dealer unless I call them for an update, and even then I feel like I'm being a nuisance.  I was told I'll contact you the moment your truck gets a vin# but I never heard a peep.  Hell I called them with the Vin# and that was 3 weeks after is was assigned.  I've learned your dealer can run a Vehicle Visibility Report and get you updated information but the don't unless you ask.  Can Ford do more..sure but  I'm just saying the dealers don't go out of their way to keep you informed either and then blame Ford when you get frustrated.

I think "some dealers" fit in that category, many don't. You can't paint Zebras all in the same stripe!

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I agree with you..but they are still Zebras. 😃

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Wonder if Ford Exec's ever even glance at these comments much less answer them?

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On 5/22/2021 at 12:35 PM, Gregg Tonkin said:

Wonder if Ford Exec's ever even glance at these comments much less answer them?

I doubt the execs actually look at these posts, and I highly doubt they'd respond. Any response would be that annoying robotic crap they've practiced and said thousands of times. Lol. There have been some great ideas proposed, so hopefully someone is at least passing along the information. 

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I agree. I'd love to know why the dates keep slipping. I know its related to modules / chips being missing, but a little info can go a long way. Especially since my truck has slipped from August to October and its been on the ground since April. 

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18 hours ago, 75032F150 said:

I agree. I'd love to know why the dates keep slipping. I know its related to modules / chips being missing, but a little info can go a long way. Especially since my truck has slipped from August to October and its been on the ground since April. 

Same here, mine is built and has been since March, had an ETA of 4/15, now 10/31. The official line is any chips that come in are being used for the vehicles already made but obviously they are used to keep the production lines running and the ones sitting out on the obscure parking lots are last priority. Not sure if I even want it now after Ford letting it sit for 7 months. I love my 2018 XLT but I think I would always have reservations about the Lariat I have on order.

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I agree.  More communication on the process would be helpful.  The dealership sold me an F-250 on 4/24 that they said was "in transit" and should be there within a week.  I was always told that they would keep me updated, but I never hear anything until I initiate a request.  One day I was told that they just talked to the driver and that my truck was in Michigan on it's way - didn't understand why a truck built in Kentucky would go to Michigan before heading to Louisiana.  Two days later I was told it was on a rail cart. Then on 5/4 I was told that my truck never left the plant and was sitting in the lot waiting on modules.  The dealership already processed the truck registration which the state requires me to carry insurance on a truck that I have yet to receive.  I understand the difficulties that the chip shortage has caused, but why do they not communicate the process or how vehicles are prioritized for getting chips? It is really frustrating for a customer to see trucks arrive at dealerships as stock, when they have no clue as to when the truck that has already been purchased and registered will ship.  The dealership provides little to no information, and I only get an "eta date" (which we know doesn't really mean anything right now) when I ask about the vehicle visibility report.  They say that they have pushed the issue up to their regional sales rep, but don't provide specific information.  How well does Ford even communicate w/ regional sales reps/ managers?  Does anyone know how the chips are being prioritized? 

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We know the chips are being prioritized for the production line first and foremost. As far as the incomplete lot parked trucks, it is anyone’s guess. Considering it is a 3rd party contractor installing them, it is probably the easiest ones to get to.

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16 hours ago, BayouBengal said:

I agree.  More communication on the process would be helpful.  The dealership sold me an F-250 on 4/24 that they said was "in transit" and should be there within a week.  I was always told that they would keep me updated, but I never hear anything until I initiate a request.  One day I was told that they just talked to the driver and that my truck was in Michigan on it's way - didn't understand why a truck built in Kentucky would go to Michigan before heading to Louisiana.  Two days later I was told it was on a rail cart. Then on 5/4 I was told that my truck never left the plant and was sitting in the lot waiting on modules.  The dealership already processed the truck registration which the state requires me to carry insurance on a truck that I have yet to receive.  I understand the difficulties that the chip shortage has caused, but why do they not communicate the process or how vehicles are prioritized for getting chips? It is really frustrating for a customer to see trucks arrive at dealerships as stock, when they have no clue as to when the truck that has already been purchased and registered will ship.  The dealership provides little to no information, and I only get an "eta date" (which we know doesn't really mean anything right now) when I ask about the vehicle visibility report.  They say that they have pushed the issue up to their regional sales rep, but don't provide specific information.  How well does Ford even communicate w/ regional sales reps/ managers?  Does anyone know how the chips are being prioritized? 

 

Since the registration was processed, I'm assuming that you signed all the paperwork and, in essence, took "delivery" of the vehicle. In some cases, if done immediately, a reported sale, registration, etc. can be reversed but after all this time that's not an option. Why anyone would take "paper" delivery of a vehicle by signing all the paperwork is beyond me. Now you have all the liabilities and expenses of a vehicle you don't have and may not have for some time. And if the vehicle arrives damaged you'll have another issue to deal with, with few options.

 

You should be dealing with dealership managers only for information. And if you want to know what's in the Vehicle Visibility report to verify what you've been told, tell them you want the complete report showing the order history and not just the latest ETA. The latest Vehicle Visibility report will show the vehicle's current location and will also now include a note if it's being held for the microchip shortage. 

 

Unfortunately, there's no easy answer to your situation. The whole microchip issue has created a production and distribution mess for Ford, its Dealers and customers alike and it's going to take time for a resolution. And I've not seen any direct communications from Ford providing information on how microchips are being prioritized for produced vehicles awaiting chips. At least the Vehicle Visibility program was updated recently to identify specific vehicles being held for microchips.

 

The Ford Zone Manager is the dealership's first, direct contact with Ford and can escalate issues, etc. to other's at the Ford Regional Office for assistance. Unless the dealership is large, or the Dealer Principal actually knows a senior Ford executive at the regional or corporate level, there's not much the dealership can do. It's not simply a matter of calling someone in Dearborn. 

 

At the dealership level, a lot of stores have made substantial changes in how they operate since the pandemic hit. They've cut sales staff, created new positions and generally reorganized operations to more effectively provide services in a market that has changed dramatically. Many dealerships started providing concierge services for both sales and service customers... picking up and returning service vehicles, developing online sales procedures, delivering new vehicles to customers, etc. At my dealership, the number of sales representatives went from 8 to 3, the service department added a Service Concierge position to better assist service customers and a lot of other changes.

 

I don't know if any of this will help but I at least wanted to give you some information from a dealership perspective and my years of experience.     

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How can you buy and register a vehicle with the MCO which would only ship with the vehicle? I can't imagine any case where Ford would send that without an actual physical transfer of the vehicle.

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4 hours ago, Flying68 said:

How can you buy and register a vehicle with the MCO which would only ship with the vehicle? I can't imagine any case where Ford would send that without an actual physical transfer of the vehicle.

 

The MCO's (Manufacturer's Certificate of Origin) haven't been shipped with the vehicles in years. They're sent to the dealerships via USPS. 

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18 hours ago, ice-capades said:

 

The MCO's (Manufacturer's Certificate of Origin) haven't been shipped with the vehicles in years. They're sent to the dealerships via USPS. 

Wouldn't they only send them after the vehicle has actually shipped though?

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5 hours ago, Flying68 said:

Wouldn't they only send them after the vehicle has actually shipped though?

 

The MCO/MSO's are probably created at the same time that the vehicle invoices and window stickers are and probably get sent automatically.  

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@ice-capades  Are there any changes you'd like to see between Ford and their dealers from your dealership perspective? I have an impression that the larger and more we'll connected dealers are able to get their ordered trucks (stock and retail) quicker than the smaller names. Ford will say that trucks are built in the order they're received, but that's a either complete ignorance or a lie. These dealers with massive YouTube followers seem to be getting trucks in weekly, so maybe consumers should only purchase from big name/ big social media following dealers. Thoughts?

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On ‎5‎/‎28‎/‎2021 at 10:49 AM, BayouBengal said:

I agree.  More communication on the process would be helpful.  The dealership sold me an F-250 on 4/24 that they said was "in transit" and should be there within a week.  I was always told that they would keep me updated, but I never hear anything until I initiate a request.  One day I was told that they just talked to the driver and that my truck was in Michigan on it's way - didn't understand why a truck built in Kentucky would go to Michigan before heading to Louisiana.  Two days later I was told it was on a rail cart. Then on 5/4 I was told that my truck never left the plant and was sitting in the lot waiting on modules.  The dealership already processed the truck registration which the state requires me to carry insurance on a truck that I have yet to receive.  I understand the difficulties that the chip shortage has caused, but why do they not communicate the process or how vehicles are prioritized for getting chips? It is really frustrating for a customer to see trucks arrive at dealerships as stock, when they have no clue as to when the truck that has already been purchased and registered will ship.  The dealership provides little to no information, and I only get an "eta date" (which we know doesn't really mean anything right now) when I ask about the vehicle visibility report.  They say that they have pushed the issue up to their regional sales rep, but don't provide specific information.  How well does Ford even communicate w/ regional sales reps/ managers?  Does anyone know how the chips are being prioritized? 

please understand that anything relayed by the Dealership to you predominantly comes directly from the information supplied to said Dealership by Ford itself. And this is the very reason Dealerships wont be going away soon...Ford NEEDS a buffer between themselves and the customer to take all the backlash caused by their own incompetence...hate to say it, but Ive personally witnessed some real amateur' hour Corporate decisions and tap dancing when directly confronted...the go to answer is Talk to your Zone Manager.....which is pretty much useless....Im quite sure Icecapades will backme on this, quite sure hes witnessed/ been inlved in some serious head scratching circumstances just wanting straight answers...and NOT getting them

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19 hours ago, Deanh said:

please understand that anything relayed by the Dealership to you predominantly comes directly from the information supplied to said Dealership by Ford itself. And this is the very reason Dealerships wont be going away soon...Ford NEEDS a buffer between themselves and the customer to take all the backlash caused by their own incompetence...hate to say it, but I've personally witnessed some real amateur' hour Corporate decisions and tap dancing when directly confronted...the go to answer is Talk to your Zone Manager.....which is pretty much useless....I'm quite sure Ice-capades will back me on this, quite sure he's witnessed/ been involved in some serious head scratching circumstances just wanting straight answers...and NOT getting them

 

Agreed on many levels although I was fortunate to have a few very good Zone Managers over the years but they were the exception. Most are young, recent college graduates that Ford hires cheap, gives them a title and works them long and hard while indoctrinating them with the "corporate" line, etc. Pre-pandemic when almost all the "wholesale" allocation meetings were in person it would be the Dealer Principal, General Manager, myself and the Zone Manager. At times we'd call in the Internet/Fleet Manager or the Sales Manager for specific input. I was the one that played "Devil's Advocate" and could ask very direct questions or make direct comments about Ford corporate that the Dealer Principal or General Manager couldn't! It was interesting to see the Zone Manager squirm and try to rationalize allocation, scheduling and/or production decisions when questioned! 

 

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This problem could go away if Ford stepped up and really brought transparency to the build process with their online tools.   They have the data and I don't understand why they just don't expose it to the consumers through their own online portals.

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