By on May 31, 2012

The 2013 Ford Escape is about to launch soon, and Ford is stuck with 3,500 units that were damaged in a hail storm that can’t be sold as new cars.

The vehicles were caught in the midst of the April 28th hail storm that struck the Louisville, Kentucky area, where the Escape is built. Ford said that the damaged vehicles won’t affect the vehicle’s rollout, but they’re not quite sure what to do with the cars.

“We haven’t determined what we will do with them yet, but they will not be shipped to dealers as new,” said Ford spokesman Todd Nissen, speaking to Automotive News.

According to AN, Ford is inspecting the lot and the damaged vehicles. Without any word on the severity of the damage, it’s hard to know if any of the vehicles could ever be re-sold. The prospect of declaring a total loss on vehicles damaged by hail seems a bit extreme from this damage point, but buying a hail damaged vehicle, even with a disclosure and a discount, may not be enough for some buyers.

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51 Comments on “2013 Ford Escapes Struck By Hail At Kentucky Factory...”


  • avatar

    cry me a river

  • avatar

    Time for a real stock car style Ford Escape Racing Series!

  • avatar
    toxicroach

    In this used car market, knock em down the estimated repair cost + 2000 and be done with it. They’d sell like hot cakes. I’m sure that’s what the insurance company will do if they end up having to buy them.

  • avatar
    zerofoo

    I suspect Enterprise will be renting these for cheap soon…

  • avatar
    Zackman

    Distressed “fire” sale. It all comes down to price. If the hood, roof and trunk are damaged, replace the hood and trunk and they’ll sell if sufficiently discounted.

    Question: Whay does every new CUV have to look like an old Rav4? Witness the Compass, CR-V and others I’m missing.

  • avatar
    Darkhorse

    In the 1980s, a huge hail storm struck the Dallas-Ft. Worth area and damaged thousands of imported luxury cars (Mercedes, BMW etc.) that were stored outside for southwest distribution. I don’t know what happened to the cars but the insurance claim was in the billions.

  • avatar
    Athos Nobile

    Down here when there are big hail storms, they’re sold (by whoever owns them) with good discounts. In the case that they’re not roadworthy/too expensive to fix, I guess they end in a salvage auction.

    Isn’t there anything better to report today?

  • avatar
    86er

    Just when you thought they couldn’t get any uglier, Mother Nature intervenes.

    • 0 avatar
      Mr. Spacely

      Ha! Yeah, these are not attractive. Ford CRVs. Ugh.

      • 0 avatar
        Ubermensch

        Sorry, but I don’t see much if any CRV in the new Escape. If anything the Escape is more unique looking than anything else in the segment and looks more like a raised Focus Wagon which is essentially what it is. Personally, I really like the looks of the new Escape as it isn’t nearly as dowdy as most of the other vehicles in the segment especially the RAV4 and CRV. The interior of the new Escape embarrasses both with it’s far better materials and styling not to mention the available tech.

    • 0 avatar
      86SN2001

      “Just when you thought they couldn’t get any uglier, Mother Nature intervenes.”

      Yep, the Escape is another design disaster like the Focus, Explorer, Taurus, and all of the current and upcoming Lincolns.

      The hail probably improved the look.

  • avatar
    MrWhopee

    Well, Mythbusters once proved that golf-ball surfaces on cars actually improve fuel economy. Market them as “eco” model!

    • 0 avatar
      redmondjp

      Drat – you beat me to it! That was a great episode, where they took a jellybean Taurus (IIRC) and dimpled it to see if it increased the fuel economy (it did, slightly).

      • 0 avatar
        Lorenzo

        Maybe golf ball manufacturers have a few more aerodynamic tricks up their sleeves? If the replacement windows can be properly sealed, I’d take one WITH the dimples as a unique machine – 1/3500th of a kind!

  • avatar
    Luke42

    I’m not planning to buy a new car, but if Ford would like to make me a deal on a lightly dented 2013 Escape, I’d might consider it.

    I own a 2002 Ford Escape that has been subjected to several hailstorms, as well as 10 years of use and abuse. (I live in the Midwest. Hail happens here, though not as badly or as often as somewhere like Dallas.) A lightly-dented 2013 Escape would almost certainly be an improvement, at the right price.

    The biggest thing, of course, is full disclosure. Ford could easily sell these as “seconds”, or sell them on e-bay as “lightly dented but otherwise new” cars (if that doesn’t make the dealers rebel). Practical used-car guys like me would be quite interested in a mechanically sound new-ish vehicle with a few cosmetic dents, for a discount.

    My 2002 Escape doesn’t really match my tastes or my “image”, but it is practical enough that I don’t mind it. I’ll even consider another Escape (along with the hybrid wagons like the Prius V and C-Max that I really want), when it’s up for replacement. But, since I actually tow stuff with my Escape, I may end up with something more like my existing machine than the car I actually want.

  • avatar
    dts187

    All hail the new Ford Escape!

  • avatar
    Conslaw

    Ford should lease them to its dealers at a bargain price to use as loaner cars for service customers. The dealers can repair the hail damage in their own shops during slow periods and buy the cars at the end of the lease to resell. Ford can stagger the lease end dates to avoid dumping all of the cars on the market at the same time. In the long run, Ford might actually make money by generating more sales to people who get the vehicles as loaners.

  • avatar
    Chicago Dude

    These cars are perfect for all those people that treat their new car like a baby until it gets the first scratch, when it becomes just a car.

  • avatar
    tced2

    In 1999, I bought a new Chrysler 300M. A day after the sale, the dealer called me and requested that I return to the dealership for an inspection. I returned to the dealership and they took the car to the body shop and inspected the car. They informed me that the car had been damaged by hail during transportation from the factory (Ontario to Indiana). (The damage was very slight and difficult to see). They offered me three alternatives, do nothing, repair the dents, or supply a new car. I eventually chose a new car. I was allowed to drive the original car for several months until a new car could be delivered. So I got to have two new cars that year.

    I assume hail damage is a normal business occurrence when you have huge inventory. They have insurance or it’s “part of the cost of doing business”. The damaged cars will be sold as used.

  • avatar
    Conslaw

    I’m sure there are 3,500 Ford employees who would like a discount on a new Escape, hail-damaged or not.

  • avatar
    Eric the Red

    When I worked for Ford Credit the Post Hail Sales were eagerly anticipated by dealers and customers alike. As soon as a hail storm hit the customers would start calling. The dealership just couldn’t sell the cars until the insurance adjuster had looked at them.

    Tip: Have your hail damaged care looked at ASAP by the insurance adjuster and then leave it setting in the hot sun. Many of the dents will pop out and you will still be get paid by your insurance company claim.

  • avatar
    azmtbkr81

    Could this be God’s way of telling Ford that it doesn’t need yet another effeminate CUV?

  • avatar
    jz78817

    “About to launch?” I’ve seen a few at dealers already.

  • avatar
    Ryoku75

    Either sell them as used or see if you can find a nutty director that’ll make use of them. Its worked before!

  • avatar
    Robert.Walter

    Mazda was able to put a boatload of new vehicles thru the crusher after a portion of them were water-damaged when the transport ship Mazda Cougar took on a profound list during the trip to the USA.

  • avatar
    mtymsi

    They will sell at the right price. My guess is like hotcakes too.

  • avatar
    imag

    I can’t imagine that would do much for the resale value of new ones. 3500 is a lot of vehicles to dump on a launch market.

    • 0 avatar
      tced2

      Ford has about 3000 dealers in the US. If you spread them out equally, it’s about one Escape per dealer. The 3500 vehicles were going to be sold anyway.

  • avatar
    modelt1918

    Leave’em out in the sun and the dents that don’t come out, put some dry ice on each dent. It doesn’t work for all of them but, many of them will pop right out.

  • avatar
    supremebrougham

    Sad to say this will probably be the only way to get one at a decent price. I saw one sitting at a Ford dealer the other day so I decided to stop and look at it. It was an SEL with a huge sunroof, and leather. It was priced around $34000! For an Escape? I don’t think so!

    I’m so glad I bought a ’12 Escape, it was cheaper, and will probably hold up longer as there is less to break on it.

    • 0 avatar
      Ubermensch

      So in other words it was priced at what an average car costs in the U.S. You are aware there are lower trims that start around where the old Escape did and have a lot more standard features?

      Congratulations on saving money by buying an outdated car. Simple advice and it works for some but nothing I would ever do.

      • 0 avatar
        SV

        It’s like when people see a Focus Titanium sticker for $27k and assume the entire line is overpriced. The new Euro-sourced Fords are priced almost exactly the same as the competition from Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Chevy etc. comparably equipped. The higher-end models are pricer because they offer things the competitors don’t have.

        Of course, the outgoing Escape and Fusion were easily and generously discounted, so the new models are more expensive in real life even if they’re very close going by MSRP.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        The “average car” in the U.S. costs $30,700 as of April 2012, but this isn’t very revealing as it runs the range of all vehicles, from the Hyundai Rio to the Bentley Mulsanne, and everything in between.

        But that’s misleading. I can get buy a loaded Chrysler 300 Limited or a Genesis 3.6 Sedan or a Jeep Grand Cherokee for that (give a few thousand).

        In fact, a relative of mine just purchased a Cadillac SRX 3.6 liter AWD Luxury package with a MSRP of $43,xxx for $33,6xx ( basically 10k off of sticker).

        A median price is actually more useful than average price, but I digress.

        An average car is more along the lines of a Toyota Camry, VW Passat, Honda Accord or Hyundai Sonata, or in terms of CUVs, a Chevy Equinox, Honda CRV, Subaru Forester, etc., all of which can be had well equipped for $22,000 to $26,000 (and decently equipped if one is willing to live with a ‘stripper’ that only has cruise, AC, pw/pl, mp3 stereo, ABS, stability control, keyless entry, etc. for closer to $20,000).

        Ford’s new pricing would make Henry Ford, the founder of the company, sick to his stomach. Ford is trying to get white collar prices for blue collar offerings, while Toyota and VW have begun to realize the error of this egregious sin (from past times) and rectified it.

    • 0 avatar
      86SN2001

      “It was an SEL with a huge sunroof, and leather. It was priced around $34000! For an Escape? I don’t think so!”

      That’s Ford’s arrogant pricing model. All of their appliances are overpriced from the mediocre Fiesta to the mediocre Taurus. Ditto for the trucks and SUVs.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        Ford has gone bat shit crazy with their pricing.

        While Toyota and VW were holding the line or even cutting the prices of their new cars in the U.S., Ford was busy jacking the prices of its offerings more than any other domestic make, and more than many foreign makes, as well.

        Ford is going to suffer some serious market share erosion and consequential knock-on affects due to its going rogue, and adapting pricing strategy that’s opposite of Toyota, Hyundai and VW.

        It’s only a matter of time until Mulally begins to take serious criticism from serious people.

      • 0 avatar
        Ubermensch

        Once again, if you don’t wanna pay for all the do-dads, but a more base model and pay what you would pay for a similarly equipped model from anyone else. What is so hard to understand about this?

  • avatar
    daveainchina

    Fleet buyers probably wouldn’t care. I know I wouldn’t as long as I got a decent discount, I’d also like before and after pictures, but that probably wouldn’t happen.

    My big question would they still have the factory warranty? If they do, I’ll take one.

    Hail damage is rarely anything more than cosmetic and cosmetic on a Ford Escape? Who cares? not like it’s a collectable vehicle.

  • avatar
    amca

    Paintless dent removal works great for little dings like hail dents.

    Or give ‘em to charity.

  • avatar
    chicagoland

    Ford said they are going to fleets, press, and other ‘business’ customers. They do need nice shiny Escapes for picky retail customers, and 60-70% who decide what to buy are women [wifes/gf\'s]


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