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Old 01-11-2012, 09:06 PM   #1
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Are Small Cars A Problem At Ford?

http://blogs.wsj.com/drivers-seat/20...ogle_news_blog

Now, Ford faces its biggest test of that self-discipline. At the end of December, Ford dealers had between 1.5 times and 2 times as many Focus and Fiesta small cars as auto makers typically like to have on lots and in showrooms. Ford executives insist they won’t revert to the old days, and could slow production to drain the excess inventory.

Ford ended 2011 with enough Focus compacts on dealer lots to last 92 days at the current rate of sales, and enough Fiesta subcompacts to last 126 days. Auto makers generally like a 60-day supply or less.


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Not surprised that Ford is dealing with this problem, with exceptionally high prices for the Focus and Fiesta, it would get higher profit margins at the expense of lower sales.


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Old 01-11-2012, 10:29 PM   #2
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Gee Why did I have to go 60 miles away from a 1.5 million metro area to find a Ford Focus I might buy, from some little farm town in the sticks.
IMO the problem is the dealers DO NOT HAVE A CLUE what folks really want to buy.
Look how many folks new to FF who had to order a Focus to get anything like what they wanted.
Same thing for Ford with the goofy set of option packages...

I certainly would have bought a car locally, IF one i could live with was available.

So what I am saying is the dealers have piles of cars NO ONE WANTS!!!
They order colors and options no one wants to buy.. then complain when all of it sits on thier lots.

Rant over.
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Old 01-12-2012, 04:57 AM   #3
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Exactly want Ford is trying to accomplish, is to get the right mix of built units to meet demands. This eliminates the need to throw cash incentives on the hood as was the only way Ford sold small cars prior to the Fiesta and new Focus.
Ford is not in the race to be the leader in sales, but to make a profit on each unit sold.
It is bad for the budget shopper, but much better in the long run for owners, as it keeps residuals much higher when you want to sell or trade in.

Now the big issue is for dealerships to get educated on what stock to order, as my feeling is that the type of customer is quite different from the customer who was only shopping Ford cars based on "price".

Ford is not the budget car maker it once was viewed as.
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Old 01-12-2012, 07:54 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elizabeth View Post
Gee Why did I have to go 60 miles away from a 1.5 million metro area to find a Ford Focus I might buy, from some little farm town in the sticks.
IMO the problem is the dealers DO NOT HAVE A CLUE what folks really want to buy.
Look how many folks new to FF who had to order a Focus to get anything like what they wanted.
Same thing for Ford with the goofy set of option packages...

I certainly would have bought a car locally, IF one i could live with was available.

So what I am saying is the dealers have piles of cars NO ONE WANTS!!!
They order colors and options no one wants to buy.. then complain when all of it sits on thier lots.

Rant over.
Totally agree that that is at least part of the issue. Options are where the profit margin is. So, just about every car they order has a couple of expensive options that few people want to pay for in hopes that you will just buy it because you want it NOW.
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Old 01-12-2012, 09:10 AM   #5
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As Elizabeth said most dealers do not do a great job of ordering the right cars or when factory orders come in (usually weird colors packages they need to get rid of) they dont change them at all to make them somewhat desirable. My boss usually spends a good amount of time trying to order the right cars but it is tough. You can never stock every option and color and someone will always want something different. Cars sitting on a lot for a long time is bad for a dealer because most are paying finance charges for all of those cars.
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Old 01-12-2012, 09:20 AM   #6
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Ford is a 'new' company now, but their dealer network is still old school.

This is a problem.
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Old 01-12-2012, 09:25 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by mac.mogul View Post
Ford is a 'new' company now, but their dealer network is still old school.

This is a problem.
Thisē

Very well said. Look at what is happening in other retail sectors. Sears, once an American icon is in big trouble. They never adapted to changing times. Except for Sears brand stuff (such as Craftsman), the products in Sears stores can be sold elsewhere. The problem for Ford is that their cars cannot be sold except through their dealers. So they are hamstrung by a sales network that looks at per-vehicle profit as the main driver of all decisions. They don't think about selling a small car to someone today and a larger one in the future.

FWIW, I have bought three new Fords (≈$60K) from the same place since my 01 ZX3 because the dealership didn't treat my like a second rate customer when I went shopping for the smallest, cheapest car on the lot. But that was not the case for the first dealership I went to. Their loss.
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Old 01-12-2012, 07:54 PM   #8
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I agree with several posts here. We have been in the market for a Focus for a while now. In November we took a vacation that allowed us to search for cars in three other states. All we really want is a base-optioned Titanium Hatch w/winter package. Preferred in Yellow but could've lived with a couple other colors. No dice.

So, December 3 we decided to order a car. Almost 6 weeks later, still no VIN because we are caught up in the dealer allocation scheme. So far the local dealer cannot get a car allocated. I fail to understand why a customer-ordered car does not take precedence over another dealer's stock order. Come on Ford, get us the car so we can get you your money!
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Old 01-12-2012, 09:59 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kelscar View Post
I agree with several posts here. We have been in the market for a Focus for a while now. In November we took a vacation that allowed us to search for cars in three other states. All we really want is a base-optioned Titanium Hatch w/winter package. Preferred in Yellow but could've lived with a couple other colors. No dice.

So, December 3 we decided to order a car. Almost 6 weeks later, still no VIN because we are caught up in the dealer allocation scheme. So far the local dealer cannot get a car allocated. I fail to understand why a customer-ordered car does not take precedence over another dealer's stock order. Come on Ford, get us the car so we can get you your money!

Good call with ordering it because you know it will come exactly how you want it. The only thing that stinks is you also got caught in the holiday shutdown for the factory, usually about 2 weeks so that hurts ordered cars as well. Have you salesman, or manager etc call or email the rep to put pressure on them as retail orders always take priority
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Old 01-12-2012, 10:01 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by kelscar View Post
I agree with several posts here. We have been in the market for a Focus for a while now. In November we took a vacation that allowed us to search for cars in three other states. All we really want is a base-optioned Titanium Hatch w/winter package. Preferred in Yellow but could've lived with a couple other colors. No dice.

So, December 3 we decided to order a car. Almost 6 weeks later, still no VIN because we are caught up in the dealer allocation scheme. So far the local dealer cannot get a car allocated. I fail to understand why a customer-ordered car does not take precedence over another dealer's stock order. Come on Ford, get us the car so we can get you your money!
Are you sure it isn't your dealer screwing something up? I ordered my Focus on January 2nd and on January 5th it had a VIN number assigned to it.
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