But there is a way to speed up the process.
Ford has been dealing with production issues and delays across its product offering, with these most recently affecting the Mustang and its best-seller, the F-150. For those awaiting a new Ford Bronco, the news hasn't been particularly good either, and unfortunately, it's not getting any better.
According to The Drive, a change in the way that Ford allocates vehicles to dealerships could now result in more delays, and worst of all, these delays are said to have the greatest impact on enthusiasts who want a Bronco the most. It's a complex situation, but allow us to break it down for you.
Ford's past allocation model meant that dealers that had the most reservations would essentially get preference on deliveries, although other factors like a dealer's share of national sales and how many potential customers the dealership looked after were also taken into consideration. Simply put, this model meant that customers who had placed reservations first would get their cars first, and stock vehicles for dealerships would be delivered only once the reservations had been honored. In this way, enthusiasts who booked early would get their Broncos early, and those who were simply walk-in customers would get their vehicles later.
It sounds like the right way to do things, taking care of those who love the brand and the Bronco most, but now that is being changed.
Under the old model, 50% percent of dealer allocations would be based on reservations – that is now just 25%. The bottom line for buyers is that those who placed reservations are now less likely to see their vehicles for some time. For one dealer that based its own marketing strategy on promising a below-invoice price for those who made reservations, this is a big problem. It now has loads of reservations – reportedly over 1,000 – but that's far less than any one dealer is expected to get in even one year of production. This dealership that has managed to draw loads of customers is going to have a long wait ahead of it, possibly even as long as four years. And that's assuming that the dealer gets no new orders in the meantime.
“We're gonna get 120 to 200 [Broncos] this year, and last year in six months we got more than that,” said an employee at the abovementioned anonymous dealership. “In my opinion, they are reverting to the traditional allocation system to the detriment of the consumer.”
Ultimately, it means that diligent buyers who found a lower price and made the effort to place an order early could now have to wait longer than the average buyer who just walks into a dealer. We wouldn't be surprised if Ford is forced to revert to the old allocation model, but until then, it had better prepare for some very angry complaints.
According to a statement from a Ford spokesperson, reservation orders remain prioritized over dealership stock so long as parts availability allows it. In other words, if you've ordered an unpopular specification for your Bronco, you may not have quite so long a wait ahead of you. Broncos ordered with “high demand options” remain constrained, so Ford is advising customers to change their order configurations to get a Bronco sooner.
We wish we had better news, but it seems that Ford has no way of getting the most sought-after models to buyers on time. And even if you do decide to go for a lesser model than you originally wanted, there's no confirmation that you won't be waiting years. The instruction to buyers that their orders can be processed sooner by losing some options seems like a poor attempt to placate an impatient customer base, but right now, there's no better alternative.