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Ford Dealers Left Hanging by Company Executives

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Ford Dealers Left Hanging by Company Executives

https://fordauthority.com/2024/02/ford-dealers-left-hanging-by-company-executives/

FordAuthority.com_2024-02-07_NADA Ford Dealer Meeting.jpg

 

Ford dealers have faced quite a bit of adversity over the past few years, much of it driven by the controversial Model e Certified program, which is now required for entities that wish to sell EVs. In fact, Ford continues to modify that program based on dealer feedback, most recently pushing back EV charger installation requirements due to supply issues. As for Lincoln, it has delayed its entire EV sales program indefinitely as it aims to focus on driving sales and profit in 2024, too. However, with Ford CEO Jim Farley recently on a Ford dealer tour in which he’s seeking “open and honest” feedback, it seems as if that wasn’t the case at the recent NADA Show, according to Automotive News.

 

After Farley’s comments on Friday – coupled with an acknowledgment from Elena Ford – FoMoCo’s chief dealer engagement officer – regarding the fact that the company is well aware that its dealer network isn’t happy, Saturday apparently conjured up some controversy when executives reportedly didn’t quite follow those words up with action.

 

According to some Ford dealers in attendance, those executives – minus Farley – didn’t provide much information on topics like how the company plans to improve quality or its future EV plans, and also failed to take questions from those same individuals, which is something that it typically does. Those same executives did offer to stay after the meeting and speak with dealers individually, but that didn’t apparently settle well with some. “It’s very disappointing when you have a town hall setting and you don’t get to have your voice heard,” one dealer said.

 

What’s particularly interesting about this omission is that it seems as if the Ford dealers in attendance were prepared to have their voices heard as a collectible group. “We’re going to have a dealer panel at the make meeting, and there’s going to be more Q&A from the dealer body,” David Wilson, chairman of the Ford National Dealer Council, said prior to the NADA Show. “We’re going to have more of a two-way conversation.”

Edited by ice-capades
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1 hour ago, ice-capades said:

Ford Dealers Left Hanging by Company Executives

https://fordauthority.com/2024/02/ford-dealers-left-hanging-by-company-executives/

FordAuthority.com_2024-02-07_NADA Ford Dealer Meeting.jpg

 

Ford dealers have faced quite a bit of adversity over the past few years, much of it driven by the controversial Model e Certified program, which is now required for entities that wish to sell EVs. In fact, Ford continues to modify that program based on dealer feedback, most recently pushing back EV charger installation requirements due to supply issues. As for Lincoln, it has delayed its entire EV sales program indefinitely as it aims to focus on driving sales and profit in 2024, too. However, with Ford CEO Jim Farley recently on a Ford dealer tour in which he’s seeking “open and honest” feedback, it seems as if that wasn’t the case at the recent NADA Show, according to Automotive News.

 

After Farley’s comments on Friday – coupled with an acknowledgment from Elena Ford – FoMoCo’s chief dealer engagement officer – regarding the fact that the company is well aware that its dealer network isn’t happy, Saturday apparently conjured up some controversy when executives reportedly didn’t quite follow those words up with action.

 

According to some Ford dealers in attendance, those executives – minus Farley – didn’t provide much information on topics like how the company plans to improve quality or its future EV plans, and also failed to take questions from those same individuals, which is something that it typically does. Those same executives did offer to stay after the meeting and speak with dealers individually, but that didn’t apparently settle well with some. “It’s very disappointing when you have a town hall setting and you don’t get to have your voice heard,” one dealer said.

 

What’s particularly interesting about this omission is that it seems as if the Ford dealers in attendance were prepared to have their voices heard as a collectible group. “We’re going to have a dealer panel at the make meeting, and there’s going to be more Q&A from the dealer body,” David Wilson, chairman of the Ford National Dealer Council, said prior to the NADA Show. “We’re going to have more of a two-way conversation.”

we, as a dealer have commited, but our Owners have been super smart IMO and multitasked...they are adding a Starbucks with all the Charging staions around it...super cool idea IMO...

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Talk about being brain dead!  And I wonder for those that have made the big investment in E already,  they getting some cash back?  And to be Ford Pro, didn't they have to have certain service hours as well as facility mods?  Like overhead door clearance.  I guess they think a lot of Transit chassis will have 14-24 ft cargo boxes installed😎

Hope they have some positive news at upcoming Work Truck Show in particular beyond "connectivity to Transits"

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The fact that Farley was a no show tells you everything you need to know….

 

Instead of making every dealer do million dollar upgrades, Ford should be giving dealers

big cash incentives to move all those Mach Es and Lightnings sitting like wallflowers.

 

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6 hours ago, jpd80 said:

The fact that Farley was a no show tells you everything you need to know….

 

Instead of making every dealer do million dollar upgrades, Ford should be giving dealers

big cash incentives to move all those Mach Es and Lightnings sitting like wallflowers.

 

Separate issues that need to be addressed independent of each other. 

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16 hours ago, ice-capades said:

 

Separate issues that need to be addressed independent of each other. 

You would think so but IMO, the reason that Farley didn’t face dealers is exactly because he’s not ready

to 1) face the music or 2) have that second discussion on where to now….(I think they’re both linked)

 

Its so strange, Ford is just about to axe Edge, a vehicle that can be made for half the price of a Mach E

and yet still sells at roughly four times the amount…..Ford literally can’t give the Mach E away at the moment.

 

 

 

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13 hours ago, jpd80 said:

You would think so but IMO, the reason that Farley didn’t face dealers is exactly because he’s not ready

to 1) face the music or 2) have that second discussion on where to now….(I think they’re both linked)

 

Its so strange, Ford is just about to axe Edge, a vehicle that can be made for half the price of a Mach E

and yet still sells at roughly four times the amount…..Ford literally can’t give the Mach E away at the moment.

 

 

 

something they know...0 % just announced...WITH rebates ( announcement 16th may be zip code restraints) 

Edited by Deanh
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13 hours ago, jpd80 said:

You would think so but IMO, the reason that Farley didn’t face dealers is exactly because he’s not ready

to 1) face the music or 2) have that second discussion on where to now….(I think they’re both linked)

 

Its so strange, Ford is just about to axe Edge, a vehicle that can be made for half the price of a Mach E

and yet still sells at roughly four times the amount…..Ford literally can’t give the Mach E away at the moment.

 

 

 

And Edge seems to  be getting good press as a "good buy"  used vehicle.  Things people pay attention to.

But I guess the driver behind this is the plant is going to be home to all kinds of hot selling EVs??

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1 hour ago, Deanh said:

something they know...0 % just announced...WITH rebates ( announcement 16th may be zip code restraints) 

Yes, I was wondering about cash incentives but offering 0% finance probably hooks buyers better,

if a walk in buyer is offered 0% finance, that’s when sales staff can get to work and close the deal.

 

46 minutes ago, Bob Rosadini said:

And Edge seems to  be getting good press as a "good buy"  used vehicle.  Things people pay attention to.

But I guess the driver behind this is the plant is going to be home to all kinds of hot selling EVs??

As much as Ford dismisses Edge as yesterday’s  vehicle, I think it’s a better proposition than Escape,

that extra room changes the whole feel of the vehicle and plenty of examples on the used market.

Edge production ends soon but I hope that Ford keeps an open mind to a larger C2 for North America,

Mach E May recover some sales but I think the public is trying to tell Ford they prefer the Edge……

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I know a lot of Ford employees, some very high up, and I also know several Ford dealers (including my own company.)  Not one person I know has anything good to say about Farley and the crew of execs running the company at the moment. 

 

The cumulative impact of 2 bad Leadership groups in a row (CEO's/Top Managers) is really starting to take a toll......

Edited by iamweasel
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4 hours ago, iamweasel said:

I know a lot of Ford employees, some very high up, and I also know several Ford dealers (including my own company.)  Not one person I know has anything good to say about Farley and the crew of execs running the company at the moment. 

 

The cumulative impact of 2 bad Leadership groups in a row (CEO's/Top Managers) is really starting to take a toll......

Key question..is the dissatisfaction associated with cutting "spiffs/bonus" payments the dealers were getting- as a long time Ford heavy truck sales guy here in New England complained to me,  or is it some of the product decisions that he has made-like jumping into EVs on such a prioritized scale or his selection of key subordinates or abandoning traditional cars.....?  Or "all of the above"..oh and I forgot, Formula One!  Talk about an expensive rabbit hole.

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26 minutes ago, Bob Rosadini said:

Key question..is the dissatisfaction associated with cutting "spiffs/bonus" payments the dealers were getting- as a long time Ford heavy truck sales guy here in New England complained to me,  or is it some of the product decisions that he has made-like jumping into EVs on such a prioritized scale or his selection of key subordinates or abandoning traditional cars.....?  Or "all of the above"..oh and I forgot, Formula One!  Talk about an expensive rabbit hole.

the spiffs and bonuss have pretty much been gone for at least 10 years, cut backs...we used to have all sorts of get togethers like trips and golf tournaments...all gone along with certain "spins" for selling certain vehciles. I have no problem with that, its their bottom line not mine, so I for one arent "dsi-satisfied"... they were just "nice" and appreciated and helped inter departmental socializing...Ford even went so far to do away with Plaques we used to get if we exceeded certain CSI, some were actually quite cool....I have about 10 on my office walls , I think last one was 2018 ( a montage of what looks liek sprk plugs making up a pictiure of a GT350 ) As far as the all in on EVs, whilst I veiw it at a BAD managerial decsion, Im not sure they had much of a choice after taking that GOVT money...you get  into bed with the Devil you get leveraged....the GOVT doesnt care if it hurts YOUR business model if it support stheir narrative...and it makes the Manufacturer look bad ( not them ) if it doesnt work out too well. But IF its sucessful ...different story, sounds suspiciously like Upper management....( blame everyone else if it fails , take a glory lap if sucessful ) And FWIW, I am a huge F1 fan ( specifically Ferrari ) Fords involvement is interesting...but Ill sit on the fence on that one...in cahoots with Red Bull is nothing to sneeze at...will it wreek benefits?...dunno, but F1 is extremely high tech so Ford COULD learn some tech they werent privvy too that could trickle down...well see...they fail miserably is another story... 

Edited by Deanh
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2 hours ago, Deanh said:

the spiffs and bonuss have pretty much been gone for at least 10 years, cut backs...we used to have all sorts of get togethers like trips and golf tournaments...all gone along with certain "spins" for selling certain vehciles. I have no problem with that, its their bottom line not mine, so I for one arent "dsi-satisfied"... they were just "nice" and appreciated and helped inter departmental socializing...Ford even went so far to do away with Plaques we used to get if we exceeded certain CSI, some were actually quite cool....I have about 10 on my office walls , I think last one was 2018 ( a montage of what looks liek sprk plugs making up a pictiure of a GT350 ) As far as the all in on EVs, whilst I veiw it at a BAD managerial decsion, Im not sure they had much of a choice after taking that GOVT money...you get  into bed with the Devil you get leveraged....the GOVT doesnt care if it hurts YOUR business model if it support stheir narrative...and it makes the Manufacturer look bad ( not them ) if it doesnt work out too well. But IF its sucessful ...different story, sounds suspiciously like Upper management....( blame everyone else if it fails , take a glory lap if sucessful ) And FWIW, I am a huge F1 fan ( specifically Ferrari ) Fords involvement is interesting...but Ill sit on the fence on that one...in cahoots with Red Bull is nothing to sneeze at...will it wreek benefits?...dunno, but F1 is extremely high tech so Ford COULD learn some tech they werent privvy too that could trickle down...well see...they fail miserably is another story... 

 Thx good info..and your perspective is closer than mine. 

Kind of in line with perks you described, in  old days, for fleet customers there were quite a few annual regional heavy truck shows/fleet owner /association sho scattered around the country. The New England Truck Show was held at one of two big exposition facilities. And most of the heavy manufacturers had their exhibits..Ford for sure always had 4 or 5 trucks, all with same custom color paint scheme.  And there was always a big dinner event at one of the hotels for the fleet guys. Not an inexpensive proposition when you think about custom painting 5 trucks then hauling them all over US..    And another thing that I guess was SOP,  Ford would host an overnight trip to KTP for regional fleet guys.

Meet at Logan, get down to Louisville late afternoon, dinner at hotel and then nice plant tour, back in Boston that night.  Ford plane was a twin Convair (440?) turbo prop.

Today, want a brochure for a 750?  "Go online."😎

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4 hours ago, Bob Rosadini said:

oh and I forgot, Formula One!  Talk about an expensive rabbit hole.

 

The thing is that Red Bull was building their own engine development center after parting ways with Honda. Honda came back to a lesser degree with them. I believe Ford Performance's idea for this is provide support and not actually sholder all the costs and share tech with Red Bull Powertrains, plus get some advertising out of it. 

 

This is no way the same situation like Cadillac and Andretti trying to break into F1 with a newly developed engine and Team.   

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19 hours ago, Bob Rosadini said:

Key question..is the dissatisfaction associated with cutting "spiffs/bonus" payments the dealers were getting- as a long time Ford heavy truck sales guy here in New England complained to me,  or is it some of the product decisions that he has made-like jumping into EVs on such a prioritized scale or his selection of key subordinates or abandoning traditional cars.....?  Or "all of the above"..oh and I forgot, Formula One!  Talk about an expensive rabbit hole.

 

All of the above, honestly.  Just seems like every high level decision lately isn't working out.

 

But more importantly from the dealer side, the one thing that is much worse than before is the simple lack of communication regarding what's going on with production, scheduling, parts availability, product support, etc.  All the basics of building cars and trucks.  Ford seems to almost go out of their way to NOT help answer questions and find solutions to problems.   The randomization of which orders get scheduled or cancelled and which ones get priority is a total cluster%$#@.  My company has several OEM's and the only company we hate dealing with more than Ford is Hino.  

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11 minutes ago, iamweasel said:

 

All of the above, honestly.  Just seems like every high level decision lately isn't working out.

 

But more importantly from the dealer side, the one thing that is much worse than before is the simple lack of communication regarding what's going on with production, scheduling, parts availability, product support, etc.  All the basics of building cars and trucks.  Ford seems to almost go out of their way to NOT help answer questions and find solutions to problems.   The randomization of which orders get scheduled or cancelled and which ones get priority is a total cluster%$#@.  My company has several OEM's and the only company we hate dealing with more than Ford is Hino.  

 

Hino?  Did they ever come back?

 

From a fleet perspective I would have to say Ford is the least cooperative OEM as well.  Recalls galore, parts on intergalatic backorder, long delivery times.  It's not the dealers either.  Ford did manage to get us some E-Transits, probably because they have a bunch somewhere and can't get rid of them. 

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14 minutes ago, 7Mary3 said:

 

Hino?  Did they ever come back?

 

From a fleet perspective I would have to say Ford is the least cooperative OEM as well.  Recalls galore, parts on intergalatic backorder, long delivery times.  It's not the dealers either.  Ford did manage to get us some E-Transits, probably because they have a bunch somewhere and can't get rid of them. 

 

Technically, yes Hino is still around from what my counterpart is telling me.  They are only getting a handful of trucks per quarter promised to them.  (But we'll see if they actually come through on that.  They definitely have people wondering how much longer they'll officially be alive.)

 

 

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18 hours ago, iamweasel said:

But more importantly from the dealer side, the one thing that is much worse than before is the simple lack of communication regarding what's going on with production, scheduling, parts availability, product support, etc.  All the basics of building cars and trucks.  Ford seems to almost go out of their way to NOT help answer questions and find solutions to problems.   The randomization of which orders get scheduled or cancelled and which ones get priority is a total cluster%$#@.  My company has several OEM's and the only company we hate dealing with more than Ford is Hino.  

 

Ford has had communication and reputation problems with its Dealers for decades. There are far too many management layers causing decisions made for job and career preservation instead of what's right for the company long-term including its customers and shareholders. On the sales side, the Dealers are the end customer with the Ford Zone Managers primary role being to sell inventory and allocation to Dealers. The order scheduling is not random and relies primarily on dealership management of its USOB (Unscheduled Order Bank). Unfortunately, few dealerships monitor or manage their USOB effectively. Much of this is due to unqualified staff and managers involved and simply telling their retail order customers what they think they want to hear.

 

Many or most Dealers don't realize or fail to utilize the resources available to them regarding retail order management and scheduling. Ford issues almost daily updates regarding commodity restraints and supply chain issues but most Dealers don't review or ignore these resources which can cause the dealership to lose scheduling allocation for both retail customer and stock orders. The priority code and scheduling process works. If Dealer don't know how to do their job, it's not Ford fault. Dealership incompetence is not an excuse!  

Edited by ice-capades
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1 hour ago, iamweasel said:

 

All of the above, honestly.  Just seems like every high level decision lately isn't working out.

 

But more importantly from the dealer side, the one thing that is much worse than before is the simple lack of communication regarding what's going on with production, scheduling, parts availability, product support, etc.  All the basics of building cars and trucks.  Ford seems to almost go out of their way to NOT help answer questions and find solutions to problems.   The randomization of which orders get scheduled or cancelled and which ones get priority is a total cluster%$#@.  My company has several OEM's and the only company we hate dealing with more than Ford is Hino.  

defeat phrase ...." please contact your Dealer"....basically the Dealer IS the buffer between the Consumer and Ford Corporate, which in all sincedrity  does NOT instill any form of confidence at all. Ive literally just gone through a situation thats a long involved UN-NECESSARY debaucle regarding a vehcile that was due here Nov 5th...it STILL hasnt arrived and the tap dancing and inaccurate information relayed from Corporate were flat out un-acceptable...Truck is STILL not here and client has made 4 payments already....   

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55 minutes ago, Deanh said:

defeat phrase ...." please contact your Dealer"....basically the Dealer IS the buffer between the Consumer and Ford Corporate, which in all sincedrity  does NOT instill any form of confidence at all. Ive literally just gone through a situation thats a long involved UN-NECESSARY debaucle regarding a vehcile that was due here Nov 5th...it STILL hasnt arrived and the tap dancing and inaccurate information relayed from Corporate were flat out un-acceptable...Truck is STILL not here and client has made 4 payments already....   

 

What idiot customer completed a sale of a vehicle that had not yet been delivered?  That’s a huge risk for both the customer and dealer.  What if it was stolen or totaled in transport?  I’m sure it was done for incentives but still…..

 

The problem with order status is that the dealer has complete control over priorities and can change them daily.  And some dealers play games with their orders and don’t want the customer to know they jumped someone ahead of them.   And SO many dealers are just like Joey said - too damn lazy to look at the info Ford gives them.

 

Not to say Ford doesn’t have communication issues.

 

 

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Again from a fleet perspective, this is particularly hilarious:

 

https://www.cnbc.com/2024/02/15/ford-ceo-forget-tesla-pro-unit-is-auto-industrys-future.html

 

I am a bit skeptical to say the least.  I don't think Ford Pro is what Bill Ford Jr. or Farley really want to focus on, but since their endeavors in EV's and self-driving cars have been less than successful they need to promote what successes they currently enjoy to Wall Street.  Completely understandable, but Ford really needs to improve their game on the commercial side or there will be serious trouble.  Interesting comparison of Ford Pro to Ferrari, but keep in mind the real success for Ferrari came AFTER they were spun off of Fiat!    

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1 hour ago, akirby said:

 

What idiot customer completed a sale of a vehicle that had not yet been delivered?  That’s a huge risk for both the customer and dealer.  What if it was stolen or totaled in transport?  I’m sure it was done for incentives but still…..

 

The problem with order status is that the dealer has complete control over priorities and can change them daily.  And some dealers play games with their orders and don’t want the customer to know they jumped someone ahead of them.   And SO many dealers are just like Joey said - too damn lazy to look at the info Ford gives them.

 

Not to say Ford doesn’t have communication issues.

 

 

you may want to backpedal a bit there before throwing down my friend...it happens all the time ...as you mentioned a lot of the time to do with incentives ( and tax purposes )..the ETA we track is via VINVEIW...THE authorized tracking Ford site , the ETA on this vehicle was Nov 5th, vehicle was BUILT,  vehicle had ARRIVED and was sitting in San Diego Oct 22nd...SITTING THERE...its literally 60 miles away waiting for a Truckload...That really wasnt the problem...the communication between the Dealer and Ford was literally non existant, if there was a problem you would think that would be relayed to us...instead we got at least 8 different stories...half of which were absolute bull$hit....one person saying one thing, another saying something else...then we were told it was at another Dealer with an Oil plug issue...we called the Dealer...truck never even went there...etc etc etc... it was never ending, and the story was different every day . And thats NOTHING at all to do with the Dealer or order status...it was built, delivered to San Diego. The only reason we contracted for the customers conveinience.... its was a multi Truck transaction..oh, and icing...the truck STILL hasnt arrived..... you also mentioned Damage...THAT has happened...we had several Transit Passenger vans that showed an ETA, they never arrived...when we called and Ford ran a trace they were apparently damaged to the point of being totalled. And again...if we hadnt tcalled and pressed, we would have never known...thats not good communication at all.....

Edited by Deanh

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Once the transport company picks it up then it’s out of Ford’s hands.  It’s still super risky even if it’s on a truck 5 minutes away.  I know Ford has issues but this is t all their fault.

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28 minutes ago, akirby said:

Once the transport company picks it up then it’s out of Ford’s hands.  It’s still super risky even if it’s on a truck 5 minutes away.  I know Ford has issues but this is t all their fault.

Damage on units that are trucked once they hit the train yards is trivial to say the least ( although we had a batch of Raptors that arrived with bumper scrapes ) and is documented WHEN the vehicles are delivered so we can claim compensation. Vehicles damaged beyond repair en route on Trains is a different beast,,,, but you would think it wouldnt be hard to check a unit being written off and relay that to the Dealer... regardles...trains and write offs or delayed units, communication is important...at that Ford fails miserably.....if we relayed information to customers in a similar fashion we would be out of business, consumers wouldnt tolerate it...

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4 hours ago, akirby said:

Once the transport company picks it up then it’s out of Ford’s hands.  It’s still super risky even if it’s on a truck 5 minutes away.  I know Ford has issues but this is t all their fault.

 

Actually, it is.

 

Ford can easily step-up and put together a system to track where trucks are while in transit.  On our DTNA trucks with Detroit engines, I can goto our internal web portal and pull up a step-by-step chart of where the truck is in the process and even click a map and see where the truck is in real time.   Ford just hasn't take the steps to provide something like this.  (With Cummins we don't get a map but we do see the chart which has some basic info, and if I need more specifics we hit a button and an email gets sent to DTNA AND the transporter and they'll usually respond within an hour or two and tell me exactly where the truck is and what's going on with it.  Even this would be a step-up from what Ford does....which is basically nothing.)

 

On a funny note, one time I had one of our mexico builds coming across the country and I noticed it randomly stopped outside Atlanta GA for a few days.  That is very odd as usually once it gets to Atlanta I'll see it later that day or the next depending on which of my locations it goes to.  When you see a truck isn't moving usually it's because of a breakdown but the GPS signal was not anywhere near a Freightliner dealer.  I was like what the heck is going on.....well the driver was from that area and decided to stop and visit family for a few days with my truck.  LOL.....and yeah, he got in trouble for that.  That's a big no-no.  

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