DETROIT – The supply chain disruptions along with the chip shortage have already limited the supply of many new vehicles.
The auto industry is in a whole new world when it comes to the demand for electric pickup trucks like the F-150. Ford is scrambling to keep market forces from spoiling its launch of the F-150 Lightning.
As the anticipation grows for the F-150 Lightning’s sales kick off in a few months, already there’s jockeying for a position to get one. Some dealers are sending letters to customers telling them to expect a $10,000 or more markup for the truck.
Guidehouse Insights Auto Analyst Sam Abuelsamid said dealers are separate businesses from the manufacturer.
“They can set their prices anywhere they want once the dealer has the car. They have bought that vehicle from the manufacturer. The manufacturer no longer has any control over how it is priced,” Abuelsamid said.
That does not mean Ford has no influence over its dealers. They do have franchise agreements.
“If you ordered 100 trucks, we’re gonna ship you 50 or 20 or maybe none at all so they do have some leeway there,” Abuelsamid said.
Ford is getting experienced with this kind of problem. Its Bronco production is still limited because of roof issues and the clamor for these SUVs is getting similar supply and demand treatment. And as Ford did with its GT Sports car, the company is also going to customers looking to keep the scalper market from taking hold.
“They’re asking customers to sign a purchase agreement that they buy an F-150 Lightning they’ll keep it for at least 12 months so they don’t immediately turn around and sell it for a premium because they don’t want people scalping these things. They want the people that actually want these trucks to have them and drive them,” Abuelsamid said.
Abuelsamid said unless you absolutely must have the vehicle the minute it becomes available if you do get one of the letters marking up your truck you should walk away. Ford will make more, so remain patient.
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