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ice-capades

Vehicle Shipping Delays Costing Business

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It is not uncommon for there to be miscellaneous shipping delays for a variety of reasons, but the situation has continued to get worse and it’s costing Dealers business as a result.

A customer wanting a 2019 Edge SEL AWD w/#201A in Baltic Sea Green finally gave up after nearly 2 months waiting for a stock unit, matching their specifications, that had been produced and released for shipping but sat at the plant for 2 months before finally arriving at the dealership after the customer had cancelled their order. The dealership tried to locate another vehicle, at the next closest 300 dealers on numerous occasions but the customer’s specifications were very specific and not flexible on the Baltic Sea Green paint color. We had other 2019 Edge SEL AWD’s available with their exact specifications in other colors, but the customer only wanted the Baltic Sea Green color. Inquiries to Ford at numerous levels failed to provide any information not already available via the Vehicle Visibility tracking system. There was regular contact with the customer, but the customer cancelled and bought a different vehicle from another dealership out of state.

A better example of shipping delays costing business is related to a fleet order from a regular account that’s been buying Flex SE FWD’s for their student transportation fleet. They ordered (5) 2019 Flex SE FWD units that were scheduled and built with consecutive VIN numbers with the units in production in early November 2018. The first three vehicles were released and shipped within a reasonable time but, like other fleet accounts, the customer wanted to take delivery of all the ordered vehicles at the same time so that they could be sent to an upfit facility for installation of specialty equipment and graphics that had been ordered. The 4th and 5th units were produced yet sat at the plant in “Produced” status, but the customer finally took delivery of the first 3 vehicles because they couldn’t wait any longer to get the vehicles upfitted and put into service. The 4th vehicle finally arrived and sat at the dealership for weeks because the customer wanted to take delivery of the last two units at the same time.

Throughout the process there has been regular contact with the fleet customer via phone calls, e-mail and in person to make sure that the customer always had the most up-to-date information on their order status. We’ve had the account for several years and have always had a good relationship with them by providing special attention to their needs, as opposed to their experience with their former Dealer.  

Our vehicle order status is monitored for scheduling, production and shipping status updates daily with special attention given to retail and fleet order types. Fleet orders are treated differently by Ford and status inquiries are always redirected to the Ford Fleet department. The customer finally took delivery of the 4th vehicle a few days ago but is now cancelling their order for the 5th unit which has been sitting at the plant in “Produced” status for 10 weeks now. After repeated and continuous inquiries, no one at Ford will provide any information as to the reason for the delay or a revised timetable for delivery of the last unit to the dealership.

Fleet business doesn’t help a Dealer meet retail sales objectives and usually is very low profit wise but provides an opportunity for a dealership to get more exposure with potential increased retail business. This same fleet account is in the process of buying Ford ESP’s (Extended Service Plans) for many vehicles from us. Their current fleet is a mix of vehicles from different manufacturers and they’ve informed us that they want to start converting their entire fleet to Ford vehicles. They are about to start replacing 100 vehicles in their fleet.

Unfortunately, Ford’s failure to communicate and provide information to their Dealers regarding the extended retail and fleet vehicle shipping delays is costing business.

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Ice,

I'm feeling a little bit of that myself. In November I ordered a BL Nautilus with a specific and unusual configuration (stock, not upgraded seats). My dealer, the wonderful East West Lincoln in the Maryland 'burbs of DC, managed to modify an existing order to get an early build date for me (Dec. 20). The car was built and since then has just been sitting at the factory (you can see my BL "in transit" by going to East West's website). 

The dealer has been keeping me up-to-date on their efforts to find out something -- anything -- about when the vehicle will get shipped (at one point Lincoln told them it was on its way and had gotten as far as New Jersey, but that information seems to have been in error as next time the dealer checked it was back up at the factory). At one point the dealer was told that there was some vague issue about the doors, but they are not even certain that this is accurate or what that issue might have been. A couple of days ago the dealer contacted me to let me know that they now feel certain that the Nautilus I ordered will arrive the third week of February. It turns out that unknown to me the dealer got suspicious that something more fundamental was going on and became concerned that I might end up just giving up so in early January they ordered a second BL Nautilus in my exact specs and that is the one they expect to arrive in a couple of weeks. If and when the first one they ordered (and has been just sitting at the factory these last couple of months) ever shows up they said they would either try to sell it as a lot vehicle or keep it as a loaner.

Edited by Gurgeh

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I really don’t understand why it’s gotten this bad.   At the very least Ford should be able to tell the dealer where the vehicle is and why it isn’t being shipped.

Hard to believe this is all just shipping delays.

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This quite possibly could be the most inefficient aspect of Ford’s business. Not to mention there shipping cost charged to the consumer seems a little high at $1,195 for my last vehicle. 

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3 hours ago, akirby said:

Hard to believe this is all just shipping delays.

Material and quality holds can contribute to the delays ice-capades talked about. Ford is notoriously bad when it comes to notifying dealers and customers of these types of holds. Including ETA on when these holds will be resolved for specific vehicles.

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On 2/9/2019 at 12:26 PM, rperez817 said:

Material and quality holds can contribute to the delays ice-capades talked about. Ford is notoriously bad when it comes to notifying dealers and customers of these types of holds. Including ETA on when these holds will be resolved for specific vehicles.

Yeah but when 3 out of 5 idental units are shipped and the final 2 are sitting for weeks on end for no reason that is not a material or quality hold.

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Have a Ranger "awaiting shipment" (not part of a yard hold) for 2 weeks and only 60 miles from Michigan Assembly.  Pathetic performance.  A flat bed truck could deliver for a quarter  of the destination/delivery charge.

A very disappointed customer.

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So here is an update that I think all will be interested in:
I have so far contacted, the dealer, Ford Customer Service, and a link into the Plant.
The plant says we are done when built, Customer Service just points to the dealership and the last update I have is that the vehicle is trapped by production vehicles that are set aside due to lack of components. Below is the current status:
upload_2019-2-12_12-59-38.png
As you can see the vehicle has been released and awaiting shipment since 1/31/2019, where this has been planned for 2/3, 2/10, and now 2/28 with a manual override. Now the "tracking" site identifies "Awaiting Shipment" to take from a few days to a week.

Bottom-line here is do not sell your current ride (I did) based on the information in the Ford Vehicle Tracker. I now have no car and plans to leave for FL. on 2/14. Right now I am a fully frustrated and dissatisfied Ford customer to the point of looking at Colorado's. Yuck.

So if there is any Ford employee that can get my truck out of jail before 2/14 please assist.  Thanks.

Edited by MI2TRAC

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On 2/11/2019 at 8:21 AM, MI2TRAC said:

Have a Ranger "awaiting shipment" (not part of a yard hold) for 2 weeks and only 60 miles from Michigan Assembly.  Pathetic performance.  A flat bed truck could deliver for a quarter  of the destination/delivery charge.

A very disappointed customer.

The shipping/transportation charges are the same no matter what the shipping distance is so that it's the same for all Dealers nationwide. 

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2 minutes ago, ice-capades said:

The shipping/transportation charges are the same no matter what the shipping distance is so that it's the same for all Dealers nationwide. 

I understand the transportation costs, just not the delay noted in the later post.  Thanks for all you do ice-capades.

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28 minutes ago, MI2TRAC said:

So here is an update that I think all will be interested in:
I have so far contacted, the dealer, Ford Customer Service, and a link into the Plant.
The plant says we are done when built, Customer Service just points to the dealership and the last update I have is that the vehicle is trapped by production vehicles that are set aside due to lack of components. Below is the current status:
upload_2019-2-12_12-59-38.png
As you can see the vehicle has been released and awaiting shipment since 1/31/2019, where this has been planned for 2/3, 2/10, and now 2/28 with a manual override. Now the "tracking" site identifies "Awaiting Shipment" to take from a few days to a week.

Bottom-line here is do not sell your current ride (I did) based on the information in the Ford Vehicle Tracker. I now have no car and plans to leave for FL. on 2/14. Right now I am a fully frustrated and dissatisfied Ford customer to the point of looking at Colorado's. Yuck.

So if there is any Ford employee that can get my truck out of jail before 2/14 please assist.  Thanks.

Unfortunately, there is no easy answer. The Vehicle Visibility tracking program provides the most recent information available. Has your Dealer contacted their regional office directly and asked them to look into the matter?

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On ‎2‎/‎12‎/‎2019 at 1:49 PM, MI2TRAC said:

So here is an update that I think all will be interested in:
I have so far contacted, the dealer, Ford Customer Service, and a link into the Plant.
The plant says we are done when built, Customer Service just points to the dealership and the last update I have is that the vehicle is trapped by production vehicles that are set aside due to lack of components. Below is the current status:
upload_2019-2-12_12-59-38.png
As you can see the vehicle has been released and awaiting shipment since 1/31/2019, where this has been planned for 2/3, 2/10, and now 2/28 with a manual override. Now the "tracking" site identifies "Awaiting Shipment" to take from a few days to a week.

Bottom-line here is do not sell your current ride (I did) based on the information in the Ford Vehicle Tracker. I now have no car and plans to leave for FL. on 2/14. Right now I am a fully frustrated and dissatisfied Ford customer to the point of looking at Colorado's. Yuck.

So if there is any Ford employee that can get my truck out of jail before 2/14 please assist.  Thanks.

So to end this story, the dealer and the dealer rep. took charge, dug in and got my Ranger out of "Ramp Jail" (blocked by other Rangers on the Ramp and pushed to later delivery dates). I took delivery this afternoon. This is why I bought from this dealer, Seymour Ford. See Below:

Ranger.jpg

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How about it Joey or any others with good knowledge of this subject.   Early in my career we were major fuel suppliers to a lot of the major truckers who were dedicated haulers  for Ford, GM and Mopar- names like NuCar Carriers, Automobile Transport, Anchor, M & G Convoy..  etc.    All gone.

I assume the elimination of regional assembly plants, led to the increased use of rail as rail economics became more attractive given increased haul distances. Can 't understand how this can get so screwed up.  Unless the rails continue to be clueless as to just where their cars are at any one time.

I would also imagine that the used vehicle/auction market also is somewhat responsible for the "disfunction" as all of a sudden when you had dedicated carriers making deliveries for the "big three", it is now a new business model with guys fighting to haul new vehicles from rail head one way with a back haul of used cars coming out of the auction centers.

Makers sense from a trucking economics perspective.  Service levels?  I guess that is another story

Thoughts??

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The railroads here in America are a disaster. The western companies (Union Pacific and BNSF) are a little better and Norfolk Southern on the east coast isn't bad either. CSX is a train wreck (pun intended) and all of them face major infrastructure challenges because we keep kicking that can down the road 

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2 hours ago, MI2TRAC said:

So to end this story, the dealer and the dealer rep. took charge, dug in and got my Ranger out of "Ramp Jail" (blocked by other Rangers on the Ramp and pushed to later delivery dates). I took delivery this afternoon. This is why I bought from this dealer, Seymour Ford. See Below:

Congrats! That's a good looking truck!

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8 hours ago, Bob Rosadini said:

How about it Joey or any others with good knowledge of this subject.   Early in my career we were major fuel suppliers to a lot of the major truckers who were dedicated haulers  for Ford, GM and Mopar- names like NuCar Carriers, Automobile Transport, Anchor, M & G Convoy..  etc.    All gone.

I assume the elimination of regional assembly plants, led to the increased use of rail as rail economics became more attractive given increased haul distances. Can 't understand how this can get so screwed up.  Unless the rails continue to be clueless as to just where their cars are at any one time.

I would also imagine that the used vehicle/auction market also is somewhat responsible for the "disfunction" as all of a sudden when you had dedicated carriers making deliveries for the "big three", it is now a new business model with guys fighting to haul new vehicles from rail head one way with a back haul of used cars coming out of the auction centers.

Makers sense from a trucking economics perspective.  Service levels?  I guess that is another story

Thoughts??

Wow... NuCar Carriers is certainly a name from the past! I can only speak from my own experience (33 years!) but not a lot has changed over the years. The only time cars were shipped convoy direct from the plants to dealerships was when Ford had their plants in New Jersey and the plant in Norfolk. Everything goes by rail now although the logistics are a bit different with changes to rail carriers, plant locations, etc. Right now I'm dealing with more car carrier firms than in years with vehicles going to rail ramps in Newark, NJ, Selkirk, NY, Mechanicville, NY, Twin Oaks, PA and East Brookfield, MA with vehicles being hauled by United Road, Fleet Car, Tribecca, Virginia Transport, Diversified Automotive and Brothers. United Road took over Fleet Car last month. Vehicles going to the Selkirk and Mechanicville ramps (45 minutes apart) are all going to start going only to the Selkirk Ramp will make things more efficient although Brothers is very good and delivers vehicles within 48-72 hours upon arrival. Overall quality goes to Diversified Automotive but the East Brookfield Ramp is a nightmare with vehicles sitting there for weeks at a time because they only haul Expeditions and Super Duty's which caused load configuration problems and they don't have enough volume coming to our part of CT. Years ago about 90% of Ford product for us went to Diversified's ramp in Davisville, RI and vehicles arrived with 48 hours like clockwork! The contracts with the car haulers are also renegotiated, go out to bid, etc. and every time a contract is moved to a different carrier the transportation logistics change. Hope this helps. 

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I believe my Mustang is held up with the same problem. Doesn't seem like my dealership can get any decent communication going. All they have been able to tell me is that it's been built and I have my window sticker showing that was around January 16th but aside from that nothing. They're trying, my guys at Hub City Ford here in Louisiana have been amazing, but they just can't seem to get any more info. 

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1 hour ago, scoobasteve said:

I believe my Mustang is held up with the same problem. Doesn't seem like my dealership can get any decent communication going. All they have been able to tell me is that it's been built and I have my window sticker showing that was around January 16th but aside from that nothing. They're trying, my guys at Hub City Ford here in Louisiana have been amazing, but they just can't seem to get any more info. 

This should be just another problem, I think, it is sitting on hold because of missing steering wheel.

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On 2/14/2019 at 3:31 AM, ice-capades said:

Wow... NuCar Carriers is certainly a name from the past! I can only speak from my own experience (33 years!) but not a lot has changed over the years. The only time cars were shipped convoy direct from the plants to dealerships was when Ford had their plants in New Jersey and the plant in Norfolk. 

 

Funny story about that-my old man used to work in Edison and bought a 1986 Escort GT that was built at his plant (and eventually became my first car). He watched/took photos of the car while it was being built and once it was done, he was informed by who every did shipping at the time that it would ship to dealer that afternoon. He called the salesman up at the dealership and told him the car was on the way-to which the salesman became dismissive of. At 4PM or so the car arrived at the dealership (we lived about a little less then a hour from the plant) and the salesman was dumbfounded LOL. 

When my SHO was shipped from Chicago to Maryland (where I was living at the time) it got there and to the dealership in a stupid fast period of time-I want to say something like 72 hours from shipping notification-almost Amazon like. 

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13 hours ago, DieterG said:

This should be just another problem, I think, it is sitting on hold because of missing steering wheel.

I've started seeing mentions of this steering wheel fiasco. Something about shift reduction at a certain facility? Flat Rock I believe? If I'm wrong I would definitely welcome any correction and somewhere I could read more about it. 

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16 minutes ago, scoobasteve said:

I've started seeing mentions of this steering wheel fiasco. Something about shift reduction at a certain facility? Flat Rock I believe? If I'm wrong I would definitely welcome any correction and somewhere I could read more about it. 

Yes, Flat Rock is losing a shift. They delayed it 2 weeks because of the part shortage 

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