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They might be able to catch up some but that's not really how vehicle sales work, new vehicles are most valuable when there aren't many other new vehicles on the lots, lots of people bought other brands because ford's were unavailable, and they are very unlikely to trade in once values start dropping again as new vehicles become more available
I'd guess that has more to do with having only 13 years of experience building automobiles for a niche market than their sales model.

Tesla built their millionth vehicle in 2020.

Ford had already made four million trucks by 1941. :)

I'm sure there's lot of good talent at Tesla, but they're just kids when it comes to building cars.
Most of the Tesla vehicles I see out in the wild have a lot of obvious fit and finish issues. Its kind of wild to think that if Elon has proven anything he has proven that is easier to build reliable self landing rocket boosters than to consistently and reliably mass manufacture automobiles.
 

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The expense of home delivery is something most consumers would rather avoid.

The real reason is that car dealerships are owned by very wealthy people and they have a very effective political lobby working on their behalf.
About the expense of home delivery... I know multiple people who have traveled from the US to foreign countries to pick up their BMWs, Mercedes, Volvos or Land Rovers. I think the prospect of a one-way plane ticket to pick up your new vehicle from the factory and drive it home could be seen as a positive by customers, given the right marketing. Conversely, convincing anyone a dealer will offer a good experience is a tough sell, even in rare cases when it's true.

Tesla opened a showroom here in the Salt Lake City area, but can't actually write deals, because it doesn't meet the state definition of a dealership.

In Utah, the requirement for the sale to be written by a local dealer is based on the premise that consumers need a dealer to represent their interests in dealing with the manufacturer. Obviously lobbyist money has trumped even the personal experience of legislators. The manufacturers appear to care far more about my experience than dealers, and would never pull the slimy tactics which seem standard fare among franchises.

I can't finish without noting, however, that my one direct experience with Honda resulted in an unhelpful reply, while my dealer has been great. I guess it's the "exception that proves the rule."
 

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When I bought my 2021 Ridgeline, I gave my speech to the F&I guy and he laughed and said, "I understand"...but went on to pitch me products for about 15 minutes including bringing in the "general manager" to offer me "special prices".
You have to understand that F&I is the highest-margin sale of anything at a dealer. More than sales, more than service. A good F&I rep is the highest-earning employee in many dealerships.

At Ken Garff Honda here in Salt Lake City, they were low-pressure and polite about it, but you have to expect it will be a part of the process. They'd be leaving too much money on the table to not at least try. The only thing I bought during the F&I session was a discounted package of my first three routine services. Later, I saw fine print which said they expire after a year, during which I'll need only two services. Doh!

So, even at the best dealership I've every bought from, the F&I guy took me. There ya go!
 

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About the expense of home delivery... I know multiple people who have traveled from the US to foreign countries to pick up their BMWs, Mercedes, Volvos or Land Rovers. I think the prospect of a one-way plane ticket to pick up your new vehicle from the factory and drive it home could be seen as a positive by customers, given the right marketing. Conversely, convincing anyone a dealer will offer a good experience is a tough sell, even in rare cases when it's true.
I can see this for a certain segment of the population, the road trip home with your new vehicle. When I bought my fun car last fall (used), my wife and I flew to Cincy and drove it back to TX. It was a blast and we had a great time. Would do that again in a heartbeat. But I know a lot of folks that would hate that as well. I am guessing most of us on here are auto enthusiasts to some degree and would probably like it, but I also think we might be in the minority.

As for Tesla, they do some things good and some bad. My stepdad has a 2014 Model S that he just got a couple years ago used. First off, he got the original window sticker and the person that owned it before him took an absolute bath on it. We figured that for what he paid, the car had depreciated about $1k PER MONTH! And it only had 13-14k miles on it when he bought it. I will say as far as fit and finish, nothing major that I have noticed.

Now, when the 12v battery that powers all of the interior stuff was dying, my stepdad scheduled Tesla to come change it out. He just had to leave it outside and they came and swapped the battery out for $150 or so. That really is not too bad. Recently, he got the computer upgraded to LTE from 3G while getting a recall done. He had to drop it off at a place and it took a couple days. He said they used to give loaners, but either they were out right now or they have stopped. Instead, they gave him uber credits to get a ride back to work/home while they did the work. So that is not that different than many dealerships with their service shuttle (maybe a little better). Heck, my local Honda dealer to get a loaner, you have to schedule service at least a month in advance normally.

You have to understand that F&I is the highest-margin sale of anything at a dealer. More than sales, more than service. A good F&I rep is the highest-earning employee in many dealerships.
And the thing is, those F&I folks are so smooth, that most people never figure out they got taken for something. Or they think they made the smart decision to get that undercoating! I have helped a couple of friends and helped navigate them out of bad deals in the F&I office for their needs.
 

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Is this one step towards removing the dealerships at the point of sale? If I can select all my options online, and I like the price, why do I need the dealer to put in the order?
I'm a fan of ordering vehicles specifically when buying new. Honda's greatest crime with the current RL is installing useless overpriced accessory packs at the factory. So you rarely get to find one that isn't afflicted/infected with one of those.

State's dealership associations are very politically powerful. But the tide is turning.
 

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And the thing is, those F&I folks are so smooth, that most people never figure out they got taken for something. Or they think they made the smart decision to get that undercoating! I have helped a couple of friends and helped navigate them out of bad deals in the F&I office for their needs.
I think they figure that most people will buy what they are selling just to get them to shut up so they can go enjoy their new car. LOL! :)

Seriously, I can imagine many people who aren't very savvy buyers get taken to the cleaners. My wife or my daughter (when she buys her first car) would have no idea what a bad deal those add ons are. Prepaid maintenance may be the exception if you actually DO plan on having it done at the dealership and it is cheaper to buy up front. Extended warranty might be a good plan if you're buying a model known to have issues beyond the warranty period...but even in that case, it's probably better to make "payments" to your savings account instead.
 

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I'm a fan of ordering vehicles specifically when buying new. Honda's greatest crime with the current RL is installing useless overpriced accessory packs at the factory. So you rarely get to find one that isn't afflicted/infected with one of those.

State's dealership associations are very politically powerful. But the tide is turning.
I don't see how the tide will turn in the current climate where dealer profits are at an all time high. Where's the incentive to change things? All legislators regardless of party are not inclined to do anything to limit big business perks.

I don't know that we need a whole lot of regulation, but more disclosures would be good. What really would change things is a situation where demand is low so dealers can't just throw anything out there and expect the consumer to bite.

Heck I'm as flustered as the next guy. I bought 2 cars in 2 weeks, well technically one was a lease buy-out/trade. That one didn't cost me anything out of pocket. Was it a great financial deal? Probably not, but I was OK with getting a brand new car for the same price as the old one. My Ridgeline transaction went OK. Got Tacoma lease bought out without much drama. Got a Utility package thrown in. I foolishly agreed to a special lighting package, which I should have nixed but didn't. Neither sold me on any expensive addons or warranties. Overall I was OK with what I paid.

I am in the process of getting a car for my son--a CPO Mazda from out of state. I have done most of the work online, so far so good. I won't even have to deal with them face to face, just send my son to pick it up.
 
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