So much for Ford’s warning to dealers about ridiculous F-150 Lightning price hikes
We’ve covered margins on a host of brands, including Chevrolet, Volkswagen and Toyota. Still, it looks like Ford might be the hardest hit when it comes to its reputation. After a tweet from Ford spokesman Mike Levine inspired some criticism from buyers, a quick search revealed plenty of greedy dealers who all seem too willing to damage the brand’s image.
We’ve posted the actual asking price on dealer websites with the window sticker below, but here’s some background first. On Wednesday, we reported on a Florida dealer who originally appeared to have a $69,000 markup on a base F-150 Lightning, resulting in double the MSRP.
A key factor in this report was a direct response from Mr. Levine who decried claims that this was a legitimate profit margin. He said the dealer accidentally entered the price of the truck twice and that mistake led to the wild price — which, to be fair, the markup did indeed match the MSRP to the point. According to Levine, the dealership resolved the issue within 24 hours, while claiming that it was not a unit for sale but a demo car.
Also Read: Let a VW Dealer Mark Up a Used Tesla Model 3 by $10,000
This is incorrect. The dealer confirmed this was an error and the MSRP was entered twice online. In fact, it is a demonstration unit and not for sale. The sticker was removed within 24 hours. https://t.co/KbaGdNukj6
—Mike Levine (@mrlevine) June 8, 2022
Internet citizens have decided to take the opportunity to grill Levine on the extensive dealer network with what appears to be unmistakably intentional markups on Ford products. A Twitter user described the sentiment when comparing one of Ford’s biggest targets, Tesla, in a response to the tweet above.
“The difference is that Tesla is open about its prices. You know how much the car costs when you order it. No one knows what they’re going to pay for a car when they walk into a Ford dealership. And the last two cars that I bought were my wife’s Explorer and my Tesla Y.” they said.
Related: Ford Dealers Add 50% Margin to F-150 Lightning Despite CEO Condemnation
To be clear, “no one knows what they’re going to pay for a car when they walk into a Ford dealership” is a pretty damning attitude, but what’s worse for Ford is that it’s more prevalent than it seems. The dealership in question, who claimed it was a mistake, not only removed the F-150 Lightning from their website, but from what we can tell, shut down their Facebook page altogether. Pouring all that negative energy into a source of frustration isn’t so shocking when you consider all the absurd dealer profit margins we found in a single afternoon of browsing.
In fact, there are too many to mention, so we’ll focus on a few with $30,000+ markups. Jim Baier, Inc in Fort Madison, IA has the cheapest Lightning we’ll be talking about and it’s priced at $110,749. It has an MSRP of just $80,749. Then there’s Valu Ford of Morris, MN. He has a Lightning Platinum listed for $123,509. With only 47 miles on the clock, it’s so new they don’t even have any pictures yet. It has an MSRP of just $93,509.
It’s not just dealerships in the Midwest that have big margins, either. Grand Prairie Ford in Texas also has a $30,000 markup on the Lightning. Another dealership, Castle Rock Ford, Colorado, also added an arbitrary additional $30,000. And Napa Ford, you guessed it, Napa, Calif., has a Lightning Platinum with a premium of $40,000 on top of its MSRP. The problem exists across the country.
Sawgrass Ford in Sunrise, Florida takes things to a whole new level. They have a Lightning Platinum on sale right now for $143,874. In fact, they list the MSRP at $141,374, then add $2,500 in “Upgrades”. Sure, that sounds bad, but understand this. The ACTUAL MSRP with delivery shown on the window sticker for this exact truck is $93,874!
Again, you might think a $50,000 mark-up is bad enough, but it’s getting worse because in the vehicle description they say, “NO GAMES!” PRICE PLUS SALES TAX AND LABEL ONLY…NO DEALER FEES!!! At Sawgrass Ford, we NEVER charge a DEALER FEE…WE MAKE IT EASY. ***NO DEALER FEES***, ***FREE CARFAX HISTORY REPORT***.
Apparently they won’t charge you dealer fees and they’ll give you a free carfax history report…on a brand new truck…as long as you pay the $50,000 markup. Sweet.
If Ford is serious about curtailing these greedy, brand-damaging practices, we’d like to see some kind of real action to demonstrate it.