Ford Motor Co. has more than 3,000 dealerships in the U.S.
But the automaker’s CEO, Jim Farley, indicated recently that Ford may be moving away from the traditional sales model of consumers buying from dealer inventory.
Farley said that the company is “committed to going to an order-based system.”
He believes such a move would prevent “wasting money on incentives” and would allow Ford to keep inventories to a 50- or 60-day supply.
Ford's first steps toward a build-to-order model is the online-only “Ford Express Buy” module, which currently sells only the Mustang Mach-E.
Ford believes the pandemic helped shift buyers from the traditional in-person dealership experience, complete with test drive.
They say more consumers are becoming comfortable customizing the exact features they want in their make and model.
Ford also suggests the chip shortage meant buyers are getting more accustomed to waiting for the vehicle they want.