The auto industry’s vehicle shortage has hit a new level of weird, according to a recent report by Ford Authority, which claims the Blue Oval is cracking down on a new and deceptive practice by its own dealers.
The report claims that Ford is dealing with another problem with its new Bronco, the much-anticipated vehicle reprise that’s been mired in problems ranging from quality issues to pricing snafus.
But, of course, customers still want them and, to that end, so do Ford dealers.
The problem, according to Ford Authority, is that Ford dealers are reportedly going to great lengths to get more than their allotment, and some are even fabricating fake reservations for made-up customers in order to do so.
The move, says a followup report in Jalopnik, could “bypass Ford’s stock allocation system, generating additional units for the dealer to sell.”
Well, Ford seems to be on to the shady practice and has established a program to combat it. It’s called the “2021 Bronco Customer Name Match Audit and Integrity Policy Reporting Platform,” and it appears to amount to name-matching on orders all in one centralized system.
In addition, the platform requires dealerships to prove “that 60% of their Bronco buyers are people who had reserved a Bronco, with Ford monitoring sales each month.”
And the penalties for evasive or deceptive tactics are steep. Says Ford Authority, “Violating the rules one time will result in a warning while doing so a second time will cause the dealer to lose its future Bronco allocation for one month. Three strikes will lengthen that penalty to three months.”
High stakes in a time where dealerships need all the inventory they can get.