Before the Covid-19 pandemic caused supply chain issues and shortages, Detroit Ford Dealers had 40,000 cars in stock. After Covid-19 hit, that stock depleted to 4,000. Such low inventory changed the way that people bought cars — but for Ford, the change has been a positive one.
Why? Today, buyers can customize their Ford — including the Escape, Expedition and F-150, among others — and no longer have to settle for what’s in stock on the lot. And it’s become a popular way to buy a Ford.
“We kept our owners at the center of our decision,” says Michael Murphy, Ford Motor Company Detroit Regional Sales and Service Manager, of the choice to offer customizations, which began in May 2021.
“We truly made lemonade out of lemons,” Murphy says. “Our satisfaction levels have increased because they can get the vehicle exactly the way they wanted it with very few sacrifices, and it enables them to work through the entire transition process a lot more smoothly,” from the termination of the lease and the delivery of their new vehicle.
Interested in customizing your next Ford? Here’s how.
Pick and choose
Color is the No. 1 thing that buyers had to settle on in the past, Murphy says. That’s no longer the case. Pick an Atlas Blue Metallic Ford Escape or a Race Red Ford F-150 — choose the color you really want instead of settling for the silver one that’s on the lot.
Whether it’s a hybrid car or limited edition, buyers have the option to pick and choose the trim level, series, accessories, after-service warranties and much more.
While you can use the Build & Price tool on Ford’s website to see the available options, it is best to connect with your Southeast Michigan Ford Dealer, Murphy suggests.
“The Ford sales consultants are in best position to help understand the benefits of customizing your retail order and it’s changed like never before because now the owner truly has as much opportunity to take advantage of (having) the vehicle exactly the way they want it,” he says.
Once you’ve connected with your sales consultant at your preferred Ford dealer, you can test drive the car if stock is available, and then place the retail order.
At the time of purchase, you’ll lock in the price and incentives. While prices and incentives can change, Murphy says you’ll always get the best rates. So, if the price on the vehicle goes up by the time it’s ready for delivery, you will not have to pay more. If the incentives improve at the time of delivery, you will receive those incentives. If not, you’ll keep your original incentives.
“Your sales consultant will keep you updated to the scheduling, production and delivery,” Murphy says.
Currently, cars take anywhere from 3-9 months to complete, depending on the vehicle you choose.
Content sponsored by Southeast Michigan Ford Dealers.