Ford may have asked dealers to give free booze to customers. Here's why

Ford has reportedly allowed dealerships to spend up to $1,000 on each customer by giving him or her a variety of gifts, possibly including a bottle of
2021 Ford Bronco at Michigan assembly plant
2021 Ford Bronco at Michigan assembly plant

Ford Motor Company is going the whole nine yards to keep its Bronco customers happy amid delivery delays due to production of the off-roader being hit. Ford is learnt to have set up a special customer ‘satisfaction fund’ for dealers so that they can personally ease the pain of their customers waiting to get a Bronco home, Detroit Free Press reported.

Ford sent a letter to its dealers explaining them that the fund has been established in "an attempt to assist dealerships while helping manage the wait for Bronco customers with confirmed orders", the report stated. As per the letter, a maximum payment of up to $1,000 for each customer can be made on a variety of gifts to build customer relations such as branded merchandise, free maintenance and - say cheers - even free booze. As one of the suggestions, the letter mentions, “Buy a bottle of (the customer's) favorite bourbon or spirit to thank them for their loyalty and patience."

Though it is quite unusual for a company to purchase alcohol for its customers, Ford may believe that since dealers have a strong personal relationship with their customers, this offering could go a long way.

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The customer satisfaction money will be spent on customers who have converted their reservations to orders. Other customers who visit the dealerships for Bronco hardtop replacements or those making an order for the 2022 model year, could also be ideal candidates for the program, which started on September 1 and will go on till June 30 next year.

While the amount allocated to dealerships can be spent to its full value on each customer, Ford has reportedly also advised dealerships to spend it all only if required as not every customer would need a lot of convincing. Ford Bronco's marketing manager Mark Grueber was quoted by Free Press as saying, "Each customer is a different situation; some may not need any compensation."

The publication reported that a Florida dealership plans to spend the money by renting the Bronco Off-Roadeo facility in Texas, and fly out 35 of its customers and give them a two-night stay in a hotel.

First Published Date: 09 Sep 2021, 11:02 AM IST

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