Depending on your perspective Ford Motor Company’s U.S. launch of the new Fiesta small car is either on schedule or a few weeks behind schedule. The yet-to-be-launched Fiesta was supposed to go on sale this summer and Ford maintains that it is on schedule for that timeframe. Some Ford dealers and customers, however, contend that the car was supposed to arrive on dealer lots weeks ago.
Some disgruntled customers, awaiting delivery of their pre-ordered Fiestas, vented their frustration on Ford’s Fiesta Facebook page. In addition to the delay, one customer complained about the automaker’s lack of communication but Ford refutes the claim.
Ford Motor Company spokeswoman Angie Kozleski said, “We’ve been very transparent with our customers who’ve made pre-orders,” and added, “We have a reservations call center and a reservations hotline. In the case of this vehicle, there’s been a lot of communication with them.”
She also denied that production problems at the Fiesta plant in Cuautitlan, Mexico are to blame for the delay. She said production at the facilities began last month and pointed out that it can take between two to three weeks to transport the vehicles to the U.S. border.
“We are not late,” she said. “We have processes in place, and we make sure our vehicles are of the highest quality when they leave the plant. They are on their way to dealers.”
When asked for a definite delivery date, Kozleski said Fiestas should begin arriving at dealer showrooms within the “next several weeks” — initially, those dealers are likely to be located in the South and Southwest.
Antsy dealers can track their orders and monitor approximate delivery dates through Ford’s online ordering system. One dealer, who asked to remain anonymous, said his order of six new Fiestas was supposed to be delivered to his store last week but they have not shipped yet. The dealer said the delay has not created a major problem for him since none of the vehicles in his shipment are pre-orders. He did say, however, that he would like to take delivery of the shipment so he can begin offering the highly touted small car.
The situation is a little tenser at Jordan Ford of Live Oak, Texas. The San Antonio area dealership is still awaiting delivery of an order of six Fiestas that were supposed to arrive by the end of last month. Three of the vehicles have already been sold.
Jordan Ford’s marketing director Jerry Strain said, “We’re waiting for them to get here. Salesmen have completed their training, and people are coming in here asking us about the Fiesta daily. It’d be nice to say, ‘We have 30 or 40 of them out there and go pick one out.’”
According to Kozleski, Ford has taken about 2,000 pre-orders for the Fiesta from customers who have paid a deposit and are still awaiting delivery of their new car purchases.
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