Ford Adds Stiff Penalties To Prevent Dealers From Working With Brokers And Resellers

Ford has long struggled with ensuring that dealers do not overcharge their customers, and a new policy may help prevent dealers from engaging with brokers and resellers. The automaker is threatening to take product away from dealers that engage in the practice.

While Ford has always discouraged brokering, reselling, and exporting its vehicles, it has now changed its policy, it seems, to widen the definition of those terms and implement harsher penalties for dealers caught engaging in the practice, according to a dealer bulletin discovered by Cars Direct.

“Brokering includes the utilization of any 3rd party to wholesale, transfer, or otherwise deliver inventory, especially vehicles in high demand (including, but not limited to Raptor, F-150 Lightning, and all specialty vehicles),” Ford writes in the bulletin. “Additionally, any non-Ford dealer or non-Lincoln dealer that provide vehicle and inventory relocator services, automotive transfer assistance, dealer trade facilitation, and/or any other company by similar name or service, is considered a broker.”

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Dealers caught using brokers or resellers will face stiff penalties. After the first offense, Ford writes that a dealer may get a 1:1 reduction of future model allocation by the amount brokered. After a second offense, the dealer could be denied allocation of all same model vehicles for the current or next model year.

With many exciting new models coming up, it will be interesting to see how effective a measure this proves to be.

The policy update follows a new name-match policy that the automaker implemented in June, again first reported by Cars Direct. The measure sought to ensure that more vehicles wound up in the hands of the customers who ordered them. If they fail to meet new targets set by Ford, dealers could forfeit all of their allocation of new vehicles for a month.