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The OP isn't exactly accurate on what Ford is doing. 1. The dealers will be required to disclose the price of the car (and any adjustments/dealer installed options) online. That means that they can still charge markup but it can't be a 'surprise' when you set your foot into the dealership. It will have to be on the website. There has to be parity between buying a car online and buying it through a salesperson in the dealership. 2. The requirement doesn't mean the dealer won't get any allocation of TVs if they don't get certified. It just means that they will get a very very small amount and could be at a disadvantage to their local peers.

Unfortunately all this does is puts power into a large owned/private equity owned dealer networks, who have the finances and capability to spend $1M+ on certification.
 

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You're not understanding the complex situation instigated by Covid and perpetuated by idiocy.

Most goods rely on many parts, and a disruption in availability of any of those can cause a disruption in manufacture. Cars are one of the more complex goods, and therefore very susceptible to supply issues. The supply of cars is constrained and demand is high. In 2021, the US sold as many new cars as 1977. There was 100 million less people in the US in 1977.

Your good deal had nothing to do with traditional dealership models and everything to do with lucky timing.

Why do people perpetually think adding layers to the sale saves them money?
As dealers compete against other local businesses and manage cash flow & inventory, "My deal" had everything to do with the auto dealership model. Part of the reason a dealer can sell a Bolt for nearly 40% below sticker price is they are also selling equal amounts of C8 Corvettes for 20% over sticker. Despite the current environment, for decades prior to 2020, new cars in the US were overwhelming purchased below MSRP. You are also mistaken in assuming auto dealerships amount to an added layer in the auto industry. Product distribution, sales, and service, are necessary operations that just happen to be conducted by a third party (Auto dealers) rather than the manufacturer. Those operations cost money, and manufacturers in industries beside cars push those costs over to local retailers, who get a cut in return. While Tesla is willing to take on the distribution, sales, and servicing of its products, the manufacturers of Charmin toilet paper, Wilson Audio loudspeakers, or Herman Miller furniture opt not to. As someone who worked in the retail business for a few decades, I have yet to witness a manufacturer taking over the retail sales, distribution, and servicing of its products, and then transferring any savings into price drops. Only the uninformed or naïve would assume it would occur in the auto industry.

An important topic always avoided in such discussion is, what stopped consumers from just buying cars at MSRP prior to 2020?
 

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For a while, Ford was encouraging/requiring a demo mule for MME and maybe Lightning. So, many dealers had one for test drives that they couldn't sell till it reached a certain mileage or age. Not sure if they are still doing that with the shortages, but seemed like a good idea.

I may have skipped Bolt and gone with Volt had it not been available to test drive. As we often say, butts in seats sell EVs!
Years ago, I test drove a Volt and said NO WAY! Almost bought a diesel Cruise instead! Cruise a nice car.
But waited a couple years, test drove the Bolt and bought one.
 

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Dealership business models will change, they will have low overhead, service will basically be tires, brakes, warranty issues, and refurbing used cars for resell. They will not be the cash cows they are today.
 

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3rd party warranties exist for those type of sales too, so it's not like you need a dealership to provide warranty coverage for a used car.
Who offers these 3rd party warranties? Are they reliable/trustworthy? How can anyone reliably warranty a car without knowing its history? Who performs 3rd party warranty service?
 

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Who offers these 3rd party warranties? Are they reliable/trustworthy? How can anyone reliably warranty a car without knowing its history? Who performs 3rd party warranty service?
I don't know the details because I'd never buy a warranty. My warranty is I pay for failed parts and replace them myself, which never happens on my Japanese vehicles.

Here's a link discussing the topic.
Used Car Warranty: Do I Need One And Is It Worth It? (2022)
 

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Who offers these 3rd party warranties? Are they reliable/trustworthy? How can anyone reliably warranty a car without knowing its history? Who performs 3rd party warranty service?
They are glorified insurance policies. Auto dealers sell them because they make commission on the sale of each policy, and they typically are set up to be reimbursed for any repairs they carryout for the warranty. As with any insurance or warranty policy, the devil is in the details. Some are definitely better than others. I personally would only purchase one on a used car that has a track record for expensive repairs (Jaguars, Range Rovers, BMWs, etc). Doug Demuro purchased a used Aston Martin from Car Max and with it an expensive unlimited mile warranty. While definitely an exception to the rule, here is how he made out:
 

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Dealership business models will change, they will have low overhead, service will basically be tires, brakes, warranty issues, and refurbing used cars for resell. They will not be the cash cows they are today.
Dealers can easily do well selling cars at MSRP. All the push for paint protection, warranties, service contracts, etc are there to offset discounts from MSRP. Dealers aren't going to lose out. Consumers will.
 

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I don't know the details because I'd never buy a warranty. My warranty is I pay for failed parts and replace them myself, which never happens on my Japanese vehicles.

Here's a link discussing the topic.
Used Car Warranty: Do I Need One And Is It Worth It? (2022)
I bought the extended warranty once, on my first new car. Acura car went 240K KM 144K Miles before it needed anything fixed and that was brakes, just front pads. Car went 389K KM - 233K Miles before we traded it when the AC compressor seized solid and caught fire from corrosion. Never got one again and I do the same with all my cars, when it needs parts. I buy and install and in the case of all my Toyota's and Hondas they were 99% wear items. very few repairs were for something a warranty would have covered. I think the CRV had the V-Tec solenoid fail but that was at 300+K KM - 180K Miles so well outside any extended warranty.
 

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Who offers these 3rd party warranties? Are they reliable/trustworthy? How can anyone reliably warranty a car without knowing its history? Who performs 3rd party warranty service?
Bear in mind that when you buy a "5 year warranty" you're not really buying 5 years of coverage - you're only buying coverage for the period beyond the manufacturer's warranty. So if the car has a 3-year bumper-to-bumper warranty then you're only getting two years' worth of benefit from the money you pay for the extended warranty. And since most manufacturer's warranties have longer coverage periods for things like the drivetrain, the value of the extended warranty is even less.
 

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So Ford has laid down the law with dealers, by Oct 31 they have to agree to the following or get basically no EV allocation
  • Online pricing - customer gets a price from the dealer online and pays for it before they walk in
  • Just In Time delivery, customer car is delivered to the dealership, they don’t pick something off the lot (this saves the dealer $$)
  • Dealers have to invest upwards of 1.5 million to upgrade, including one or a couple DC fast chargers, training, etc.
  • Don’t want to do it? No problem, you can’t sell EV’s
  • Other stuff …
Basically they’re following a Tesla model. Why is this important? Because GM is going to follow up with their own program soon. HUGE apologies I don’t have a link, it was an interview with a GM marketing exec, who said they had a program in the works where customers get their price online, then just walk in and pick up the car. Now that Ford has laid it out, competitively GM will do something similar. He said they were ready to release the details soon.

So maybe, finally, the Wicked Witch(s) of the West are dead finally, or in other words dealerships will be forced to behave themselves.

hopefully they will also follow Tesla in having vehicles to test drive. not many, but at least some
 
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