Planning To Order a New Bronco? Great! Now Read This.
The hype surrounding the introduction of the 2021 Bronco and Bronco Sport has shown us several things. First, there's still an enormous and very hungry market for authentic off-road vehicles that Jeep Wrangler just can't cover on its own.
Second, reviving a famous and beloved nameplate appears to be a sure hit, as long as the manufacturer respects that nameplate's heritage by keeping its reintroduction in an easily recognizable form. This is something that Chevrolet completely missed with the current Blazer.
Third -- and this is what we'll be focusing on here -- the existing dealership model is outdated, and car manufacturers need to find new ways to sell their cars, since we now know that a considerable number of customers are not happy at all with their experience of purchasing the new Bronco.
Apart from accounts of delays and endless waiting for the new Bronco, the internet is also buzzing with reports of buyers being scammed via insane dealer markups that have resulted in many of them paying significantly more than the MSRP for their purchases.
These stories appear to be remarkably consistent and start with the customer reserving their car all the way back in January 2021, then putting in their deposit with their local dealer. After months of patiently waiting and staying in contact with the dealership, the customer is finally notified that their car is being delivered, at which the dealership then asks for more money while using the "market adjustment fee" excuse.
In most cases, customers appear to have no option other than to pay the asking price to take possession of their car. If the customer can't (or won't) come up with additional cash being demanded, the dealership will then return the would-be customer's deposit and send their Bronco to whomever is next in line -- most often an eager buyer who will gladly pay whatever the dealership is asking for it.
In other words, if you can't pay the "ransom," those months of waiting and anticipating will be for nothing.
The problem lies squarely with greedy dealers who want to cash in on the model's popularity and in-dealership economic model. For years, dealers have added markups to specific, in-demand cars, and people have almost always gladly paid them, being understandably eager to get their hands on brand new models.
On the other hand, if somebody has reserved their vehicle, then followed through and ordered it directly with the manufacturer, they should be entitled to pay the MSRP, right? That answer would certainly seem to be a resounding "Yes", but unfortunately, this isn't how things work.
MSRP stands for Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price -- and we're emphasizing the "suggested" part strongly here. If the customer is not satisfied with the dealer's pricing, he/she can theoretically transfer the order to another dealer who might be more reasonable. However, if the car has already been delivered to the dealer, there's little that the customer can do.
That's why dealers who plan to strongly pursue markups only inform customers once the car is in their possession.
So, how can you avoid being scammed by greedy dealers when ordering your brand new Bronco? It's actually pretty simple. Once you order your car and you get confirmation, you should ask your dealer for a written document that both specifies and locks in the price.
But be careful; you don't want to stop at just getting a quote, since that quote can be contingent on a variety of factors and therefore can be changed later. You want to get the dealer's actual promise that they will respect the MSRP determined by the factory.
If the dealer is reluctant to provide you with this documentation -- because they know that once they provide it, there's is no way they can extract additional payment without risking a lawsuit -- then simply change your dealer. Since you'll likely be waiting for months before actual delivery, there'll be plenty of time to find a dealer that will be reasonable (and honest) enough to give you a price guarantee in writing.
As an added measure of security, once you get this guarantee, our advice is to get it notarized to become a legal document that can be used in a court of law.