Some Ford Dealers Are Faking Registration Numbers For The New Bronco
Ford's launch of the Bronco has been anything but normal and trouble-free up to this point. While the SUV's development went smoothly and predictions of its eventual runaway success seem to have proven to be accurate, based on current demand, problems cropped up once the Bronco reached its final production phases.
Internal delays, hardtop issues, a global pandemic, supply chain interruptions… you name it. Practically, anything that could have happened did, in fact, happen. But Ford is eager to see the reintroduction of its iconic SUV through to better times, and it's starting to look like it finally will.
However, the Bronco is not quite out of the woods just yet as far as its series of problems. The Webasto situation might now be behind us, and the 2021 models have finally started rolling out to their eagerly awaiting owners, but Ford is now faced with still another challenge – dishonest dealers.
We've already chronicled instances of insane markups, with greedy dealers forcing customers to pay “market adjustments” on their previously ordered vehicles. Due to the lack of clear legislation regarding this behavior, we suggest you read our article if you are planning to order a new 2021 or 2022 Bronco. However, the issue we're focusing on now is between Ford, its network of dealers, and what appear to be numerous fake registrations filed in order to get a greater allocation of this in-demand product.
You probably haven't heard about this up to now, but here's how it works. Even before the Bronco went on sale, Ford announced that some dealerships would get priority as far as the number of allocated reservations they would receive. Simply put, the more reservations go through a given dealer, the better chance that dealer would get its vehicles sooner.
So, how might a dealer secure more allocations if it's a relatively small-scale operation or is located in a remote area? Just fake additional reservations and order Broncos in the names of people who had no intention of becoming an owner, as it turns out.
An inquiry showed that Ford dealers or their employees ordered numerous 2021 Broncos using the names of people who didn't really intend to buy the vehicle in order to increase the number of reservations going through the specific dealership.
Ford realized that something was going on when numerous Broncos ended up in the hands of people who weren’t the ones who reserved them back in January. At that point, Ford’s people contacted the dealerships and demanded to see proof that the names on those reservations matched those that the Broncos were ultimately delivered to.
So, in order to keep things transparent and under control, Ford has issued the “2021 Bronco Customer Name Match Audit and Integrity Policy Reporting Platform”. This program will allow Ford to have more control over the ordering process and help improve the distribution of the vehicles.
For starters, according to Ford, dealerships will need to prove that at least 60% of the orders submitted are for real people who actually ordered the SUV. Failing to prove this will result in a warning, and repeated offenses will result in a ban on new Bronco deliveries to the offending dealership for up to three months.
Second, customers could be asked for additional personal information, including email address, or even their social media profiles, in order to prove that they really are the intended owners. The dealership would generate the necessary data, and Ford has announced that it will check the order records on a monthly basis.
Even though it may sound a little too obsessive, Ford's move is a reasonable one, since it's designed to regulate dealers looking to do nearly anything to cash in on the Bronco craze. The ordering process for the new Bronco won't be significantly longer -- it just will become more precise in order to help actual customers.