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Ford's Mark Levine is hysterical

alexgr

Active Member
Aug 13, 2019
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He didn’t say Teslas are vaporware. He said the promise of fully autonomous driving is vaporware, and it is. He’s also angry about Ford dealerships adding ADM and offering to help. What on earth do you find objectionable about any of this?
"Mach-E customers drive away with a car. Tesla customers drive off with vaporware. "

Car for Mach-E = Vaporware for Tesla. Also, instead of "being angry" at dealerships, that Ford managers can happily keep doing the rest of their lives, maybe they could actually have fully online sales system already. And if Ford's response to dealerships markups is that Teslas still don't have the FSD, then we know that Ford got completely lost and frustrated with their own vehicles and dealerships.
 
"Mach-E customers drive away with a car. Tesla customers drive off with vaporware. "

Car for Mach-E = Vaporware for Tesla. Also, instead of "being angry" at dealerships, that Ford managers can happily keep doing the rest of their lives, maybe they could actually have fully online sales system already. And if Ford's response to dealerships markups is that Teslas still don't have the FSD, then we know that Ford got completely lost and frustrated with their own vehicles and dealerships.

In the IMMEDIATELY PRECEDING SENTENCE he was clearly talking about the FSD. He specifically mentioned it MULTIPLE TIMES. I don’t even know why you are so hell bent on taking him out of context. Seems like you want to find things to complain about.
 

Gwgan

Almost a wagon
Aug 11, 2013
3,107
2,464
Maine
Please, don’t listen to the media.

Context for Levine’s tweet Gerber did a test drive, more bout that on Twitter and Youtube. They told him there was s $5k dealer uncharged because of demand but later, after his first tweet on the issue, told him they decided not to upcharge.
 
As long as Ford has dealerships, some are going to try to maximize profit on (relatively) rare products like the Mach E. Dealers are independent businesses. They take a lot of risk and potentially big losses on unsold inventory, so they try to make hay while the sun shines and some take that to extremes.

So I don’t really fault dealers for charging ADM on MMEs sold off the lot (slapping ADM on orders is an entirely different matter). But it also doesn’t mean people need to pay ADM if they’re willing to look around.

Yes, the dealership model can be unsavory, but it also has its advantages. For example, I’m driving my sweet grabber blue First Edition now, as opposed to waiting 6mos for an order, because I found a cancelled order on the lot (and I got x-plan pricing, too).
 

alexgr

Active Member
Aug 13, 2019
1,390
1,395
42
In the IMMEDIATELY PRECEDING SENTENCE he was clearly talking about the FSD. He specifically mentioned it MULTIPLE TIMES. I don’t even know why you are so hell bent on taking him out of context. Seems like you want to find things to complain about.

The question he was answering was about Ford. The FSD, which is an option available for Tesla and unavailable for Ford unlike the unavoidable Ford's dealership network, was completely irrelevant to the question. When you are now able to buy a car completely online (or a used one through Carvana etc.) it makes sales through dealerships completely obsolete. Basically Levine said that ford customers are out of luck and the best he can do is to send them to an online shopping tool to try find another dealership. Based on the MachE forum, not everyone is happy with his response and a few potential Ford customers have changed their mind.
 
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alexgr

Active Member
Aug 13, 2019
1,390
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As long as Ford has dealerships, some are going to try to maximize profit on (relatively) rare products like the Mach E. Dealers are independent businesses. They take a lot of risk and potentially big losses on unsold inventory, so they try to make hay while the sun shines and some take that to extremes.

So I don’t really fault dealers for charging ADM on MMEs sold off the lot (slapping ADM on orders is an entirely different matter). But it also doesn’t mean people need to pay ADM if they’re willing to look around.

Yes, the dealership model can be unsavory, but it also has its advantages. For example, I’m driving my sweet grabber blue First Edition now, as opposed to waiting 6mos for an order, because I found a cancelled order on the lot (and I got x-plan pricing, too).

Why exactly do you care about dealerships so much? Family ties?

// ADM has a huge disadvantage - people who would be customers but have no money or will to pay the ADMs will be excluded from the pool of buyers and the overall sales will be lower as the sales will be demand limited. If the demand is strong then keeping the MSRP price will keep the sales production limited. Tesla was the first automaker to use this model, now Volvo is joining. Ford is left behind.
 
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Darmie

Super Member
Supporting Member
Jan 13, 2016
2,410
1,618
Clear Lake TX.
Wow, a lot of heated replies on Ross's comments too. One point that was noted is if anyone is attempting to criticize a Tesla and they haven't even driven one should pssoff. I think this is a great point, love or hate the look is one thing, but to out right not like something and see lack of function should hold no weight if that person has not even tested such product.

... And with Mike mention for anyone to contact him if they see any markup is a lazy trait of a person. Why make other people do the work to report back to him? Mike needs to do his own legwork and contact the dealership network and do follow up to ensure this is not happening to their customers. Anything short of that is just being lazy and should be fired. Come on Ford, you're better than this.

I know the automotive world is much slower than the computer/gaming world but I'll just say, these manufacturing companies need to wake up quick.
Not long ago, Atari was the biggest thing in town with a very bright future. Their arrogance got to them. Ironically, kids know more about Atari today for the games available in a Tesla.
 
Why exactly do you care about dealerships so much? Family ties?

// ADM has a huge disadvantage - people who would be customers but have no money or will to pay the ADMs will be excluded from the pool of buyers and the overall sales will be lower as the sales will be demand limited. If the demand is strong then keeping the MSRP price will keep the sales production limited. Tesla was the first automaker to use this model, now Volvo is joining. Ford is left behind.

Ha def no family ties to a dealership. I just find it a very interesting topic. I am fascinated by economics, particularly behavioral economics, and market disruptors empowered by the internet and handheld devices to cut out the middle man and give more power directly to consumers. What Uber and Lyft did to the taxi industry, and how quickly, is staggering. The same for AirBNB and VRBO. By contrast, companies like Turo have failed to make a dent in the rental car market. Nobody has successfully cracked the realtor cabal, an issue I find particularly galling because we're talking tens of thousands of dollars I have to pay for a transaction most people can easily do themselves. But most people still have to pony up 5-6% of the equity in their home lest real estate agents steer prospective buyers away. (Oh, and I do have a realtor in my family LOL).

Dealerships are kind of in the muddy middle. I don't really like them, but they have their uses. I'm driving my MME now instead of waiting 6mos because of a dealership. I have way more service options because of the extensive dealership network. I don't even have a Tesla showroom or service center in my town, and mobile service is not as convenient a substitute as some make it out to be.

For new cars, I think Tesla's approach is the future. It's what people want. But honestly most dealerships could probably survive the shift to an ordering model. Dealerships make the vast majority of their money on the service center and the used car market. Neither of those is going anywhere anytime soon. Concepts like Carvana are very interesting, but we've had online used car marketplaces for over two decades and they haven't really put a dent in used car lots.

Ford should absolutely crack down on dealers who are trying to put ADM on car orders. In fact, the ordering website is supposed to give people their out the door price. But, this hasn't stopped some crooked dealers from trying to screw customers.

Now, if a dealer orders a car for inventory (currently not possible) or has a cancelled order available for sale (there are plenty), I think ADM is fine. Nothing wrong with honest capitalism.
 

qdeathstar

Completely Serious
May 17, 2019
4,332
4,504
VB
As long as Ford has dealerships, some are going to try to maximize profit on (relatively) rare products like the Mach E. Dealers are independent businesses. They take a lot of risk and potentially big losses on unsold inventory, so they try to make hay while the sun shines and some take that to extremes.

So I don’t really fault dealers for charging ADM on MMEs sold off the lot (slapping ADM on orders is an entirely different matter). But it also doesn’t mean people need to pay ADM if they’re willing to look around.

Yes, the dealership model can be unsavory, but it also has its advantages. For example, I’m driving my sweet grabber blue First Edition now, as opposed to waiting 6mos for an order, because I found a cancelled order on the lot (and I got x-plan pricing, too).
Dealerships do tend to help hold manufacturers accountable for slop....
 

SO16

Active Member
Feb 25, 2016
3,503
11,934
MI
FSD is an option.

A dealer markup is not.

I didn’t buy autopilot when I purchased my Tesla. Was my choice and could still get the vehicle. That’s the difference. Whether or not it’s “vaporware” is practically meaningless as a strike against Tesla vs Ford if it’s an option. Especially since Ford doesn’t have a fully functional FSD equivalent.

Now if Ford had a competing FSD equivalent that was currently working, then he’d have merit. Right now? No.

Speaking of vaporware, Ford needs to get their “Ford Pass” working better with EA. And in this case, Tesla DOES have a competing product.
 
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FSD is an option.

A dealer markup is not.

I didn’t buy autopilot when I purchased my Tesla. Was my choice and could still get the vehicle. That’s the difference. Whether or not it’s “vaporware” is practically meaningless as a strike against Tesla vs Ford if it’s an option. Especially since Ford doesn’t have a fully functional FSD equivalent.

Now if Ford had a competing FSD equivalent that was currently working, then he’d have merit. Right now? No.

Speaking of vaporware, Ford needs to get their “Ford Pass” working better with EA. And in this case, Tesla DOES have a competing product.

Dealer markup is not an option? There are thousands of dealerships to choose from. When I was shopping for a MME (off the lot, by the way) some dealerships wanted a markup and some didn't. I chose one that didn't.
 

SO16

Active Member
Feb 25, 2016
3,503
11,934
MI
Dealer markup is not an option? There are thousands of dealerships to choose from. When I was shopping for a MME (off the lot, by the way) some dealerships wanted a markup and some didn't. I chose one that didn't.

Well no kidding? Good for you.

I meant not an option “at that dealer”. Of course you can always go somewhere else. Which in some rural areas, is a bit less convenient. Especially if you want to go to that specific dealer for repairs if they offer an incentive if you purchase from them.

And it’s even possible to say “I want to buy from you if you remove that markup”.

But when I was talking about an option, I was talking about clicking a check box when purchasing the vehicle. Not having to go around to different dealers.
 
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outdoors

.
Supporting Member
Aug 10, 2014
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I always loved to hear we took the risk line. I went into a dealership for a car that wasn't in showroom. Go see your dealer. I did. 12-15k over sticker. I looked puzzled. Then I asked. What is that for? Yeah we take the risk to hold inventory. Sometimes we have to sell down and take losses at the end of the year. Oh. I should pay you to order the car that I plan on paying for in cash myself because you took the risk to order it from a cash buyer. They also wanted a non refundable deposit of what is called the ADM. More than anything I was considering buying a Crossfire. That was shameful enough to walk into the dealer looking back.

From that point on I found salespeople that would order the car I wanted. Never was it in stock. Deliver it to my home or work. Pretty much don't talk to me. The model is that bad. Again for me. I don't like the dealership experience.

Why one would want to get into a twitter spat is beyond me. Especially in a professional setting. For everyone at the company saying yeah you told them. There are many snickering calling you a moron. It's like a twitter stamp on your forehead. Everyone at the next company you work for know you as the Ford guy that got in a fight with Elon's army.
 
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