Ford brought two pieces of good news for their dealers at this year’s NADA meeting: The dealers will get more cars. And they will get more cash. But wait, there will be less …
Ford will increase its production targeted at its U.S. dealers by 13 percent this quarter. If the market wants more, Ford will make more. They will even lay on more shifts, says the Wall Street Journal.
What usually makes dealers much happier: Ford will dole out extra spiffs. Ford dealers will get $50 for every vehicle they order with Sync and $75 if they order cars equipped with Sync and MyFord Touch. This “technology allowance” is meant to reimburse the dealers for the extra time it takes to teach customers how to use the in-vehicle technology.
Dealers had been complaining that the new technology eats up their precious time. Automotive News [sub] wrote recently that “delivering a new vehicle used to take a dealer 45 minutes. It now could take up to two hours for some. That’s productivity time lost by the salesperson who could be making another sale instead of teaching a customer three different ways to turn on or adjust the air conditioning.”
So that was the good news. “Later Sunday, Czubay and Jim Farley, Ford’s global marketing chief, told Lincoln dealers that Ford wants to reduce the retail network from 434 showrooms to about 325 in the country’s 130 largest markets,” writes the Freep. There had to be a catch.