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FORD REVIVES CONTROVERSAL INCENTIVE PLAN TO INCREASE SALES

Getting Rid of Old Stock

2023 Ford F-150 Australia

The first quarter of the year has come and gone, and Ford Motor Company has seen a 10% decline in F-Series sales, going from 170,377 units in the first quarter of 2023 to 152,943 trucks for 2024. With the arrival of a refreshed truck version for the 2024 model year, the company is keen on getting older models out of showrooms and has decided to employ an incentive scheme that tends to have mixed feelings for dealers.

The industry has given this incentive the name “stair-step,” which involves offering dealers a bonus for each 2023 model year F-150 truck they sell once they reach a specified target. According to Automotive News, dealers got $750 per truck in February and March when they matched the goal and $1,500 when they exceeded it. The incentive for exceeding the sales target has fallen to $1,000, but the Ford Explorer has been added to this plan.

2024 Ford F-150 Tremor

So, what’s the problem with this strategy? There needs to be more transparency between customers and dealers. A customer might go into the dealership to purchase a particular year vehicle, be it a 2024 F-150 or something entirely different the dealership has on its lot. However, a salesperson could try to alter the customer’s plans and push them towards buying an older model F-150 or Explorer to help the dealership hit or even surpass the incentive. Unfortunately, this is one of the reasons why people go to dealerships to window shop for products on Sundays to avoid salespeople attempting to sell them something they don’t want.

The National Automobile Dealers Association has long opposed stair-step incentives and had hoped that the pandemic would have killed them altogether as the shortage of vehicles meant the traditional sales tactics were unnecessary. However, as production has returned to its original capacity, dealers have reintroduced these incentives. It’s a bitter-sweet encounter, as not all dealers dislike the incentive and can find it helpful in boosting overall sales and potentially giving back to the customers.

2023 Ford F-150 Heritage Edition

Written by Zac Quinn

Zac's love for cars started at a young age, after seeing the popular Eleanor from Gone In 60 Seconds. From there, fascination and enthusiasm blossomed and to this day the Ford Mustang remains a favorite. His first job started out detailing cars, but also provided the opportunity to work on restoration including an 1968 Ford Mustang, Pontiac Firebird, and a C3 Corvette, though he left that job before further work and experience could be had. From there, he was a detailer at a car dealership before quitting that job to try and finish college.

Much of his free time while studying was spent watching YouTube videos regarding new cars, or off-roading. 4WD247 is a personal favorite channel which rekindled a dying flame in car enthusiasm, now tailored towards trucks and SUVs and the fun that can be had building up an overlanding rig, and going on adventures, though, that chapter remains unwritten for the time being.

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