Ford Fiesta: It’s a VINner!

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Well, it’s been a while since the last status update on my pre-ordered Ford Fiesta. Dealership decided to play AWOL or just hide, as they obviously couldn’t tell anything beyond “Retail Verification will contact you later”.
Except later never came. So I broke down and sent a few questions to Sam De La Garza, Ford Fiesta Brand Manager. I asked what should be happening, if I really should be getting a call back from that “system”, did my order get lost, and if there are any updates on the status of the whole process. And for the heck of it, also asked about the process of, essentially, re-doing the order at the dealership.

Here is his reply :

When the customer places an order with a dealer – the one thing that happens behind the scenes is that the dealer has to go into an internal system and place the official order. This system is unique to Ford and most of the time the system is managed by someone other than the salesperson. Therefore, it can take a day or two before the order is actually placed in the system.

Dealers make two different types of orders. One for an actual customer who is willing to wait for their car/truck etc. The other type of order is for their normal inventory. When it is an actual customer’s order – then we need to verify that the order is being placed for a specific person. This is called the Retail Order Verification Process. Typically, we ask the dealer to submit some basic information about the customer to ensure that all of the information is correct. Rarely do we need to actually contact the customer directly.

Once the order is placed in the system – customers often assume that the order is immediately submitted to the plant. Unfortunately, due to the many complexities of running a plant, our team has to determine the correct time to “schedule” the order to enter the plant. When the vehicle is “scheduled” that is when a VIN number is generated for the car. Essentially, it is a recognition that this vehicle will be born and will one day be driven on the open road!

In general, we know which week the vehicle will be built up to 2-3 weeks in advance.

We plan on communicating 2 different status updates throughout the process: Vehicle build date and vehicle shipped date. Since the vehicle is being built in Mexico – it may take up to 4 weeks before the car arrives at the dealership. The dealer will call you when the car is ready to be delivered.

In terms of the Reservations not being transmitted to dealers – there have been a few things that we thought we could have handled better. Although, we trained our dealers before the process began, we could have done a better job of informing dealers where they could find the information. Also, this was the first time that we have executed this type of program so we are working on some things to improve the system for the Ford Focus launch.

I hope these answered some of your questions. Your best bet is to contact the Reservation center on a weekly basis to get a status update on your order.

Thanks for staying so patient throughout this process. You will not be disappointed by this car!

Sam De La Garza
Ford Fiesta – Brand Manager

I followed Sam’s advise, and contacted the reservation center again. And hey, the VIN has been created for my new car. I’ll have to wait till some time late June for car to arrive (but it’s just an estimate at this time). Things are moving along…

The beginning of the story (March 27th)
Step two — retail order reservation (March 29th)
Thank you gift (April 13th)

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