UPDATE: After the meltdown at Airport Marina Ford, my wife found another car with her specs on AutoTrader at Huntington Beach Ford, which I recalled from other research didn’t do Marker Value Adjustments. We called in, told them to get me the OTD price. It comes it at 60k, versus the expected 58k. After a little poking he explains it has 2k of “dealer extras.” I tell him to take those off. “Well, if you came here to present your offer I could consider it.” I explain that I was in Culver City yesterday getting boned, and I wasn’t interested in driving to the ocean again without this sorted. He’s “going back to his manager.”

Just because they keep showing up in the comments, I’ll add we explicitly don’t want a Tesla. I’m happy you like yours. I don’t want one.

UPDATE 2: Huntington Beach Ford ghosted me after I told them I would not pay for any dealer extras. I check AutoTrader and find another one on the Citrus Motors Ford lot. I check the Ford website, and the order section indicates they don’t do markups, but their MSRP looks almost 3000 high. I call them, and they confirm that they are marking up all Mach E’s. Still no response from Ford or Mike Levine on Twitter [here.](https://twitter.com/davidcmaybury/status/1380725816208752642?s=21)

UPDATE 3: [This was the car at Airport Marina Ford](https://www.autotrader.com/cars-for-sale/vehicledetails.xhtml?listingId=581651243&zip=90094&referrer=%2Fcars-for-sale%2Fsearchresults.xhtml%3Fzip%3D90094%26city%3DLos%2BAngeles%26incremental%3Dall%26modelCodeList%3DFORDMACHE%26makeCodeList%3DFORD%26sortBy%3DdistanceASC%26location%3D%255Bobject%2BObject%255D%26state%3DCA%26firstRecord%3D0%26marketExtension%3Dinclude%26relevanceConfig%3Ddefault%26searchRadius%3D75%26isNewSearch%3Dfalse&numRecords=25&firstRecord=0&modelCodeList=FORDMACHE&makeCodeList=FORD&searchRadius=75&makeCode1=FORD&modelCode1=FORDMACHE&clickType=listing). Notice that the listing does NOT show a markup. Also, when they presented the first offer, they ONLY showed the monthly payments. It was not until I asked for the OTD price that explained they have a markup.

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[This was the car at Huntington Beach Ford](https://www.autotrader.com/cars-for-sale/vehicledetails.xhtml?listingId=582079421&zip=90094&referrer=%2Fcars-for-sale%2Fsearchresults.xhtml%3Fzip%3D90094%26city%3DLos%2BAngeles%26incremental%3Dall%26modelCodeList%3DFORDMACHE%26makeCodeList%3DFORD%26sortBy%3DdistanceASC%26location%3D%255Bobject%2BObject%255D%26state%3DCA%26firstRecord%3D75%26marketExtension%3Dinclude%26relevanceConfig%3Ddefault%26searchRadius%3D75%26isNewSearch%3Dfalse&numRecords=25&firstRecord=75&modelCodeList=FORDMACHE&makeCodeList=FORD&searchRadius=75&makeCode1=FORD&modelCode1=FORDMACHE&clickType=listing). They at least say “Call for price.”

[This is the car at Citrus Motors Ford.](https://www.autotrader.com/cars-for-sale/vehicledetails.xhtml?listingId=573925368&zip=90094&referrer=%2Fcars-for-sale%2Fsearchresults.xhtml%3Fzip%3D90094%26city%3DLos%2BAngeles%26extColorsSimple%3DRED%26incremental%3Dall%26modelCodeList%3DFORDMACHE%26makeCodeList%3DFORD%26sortBy%3DdistanceASC%26location%3D%255Bobject%2BObject%255D%26state%3DCA%26firstRecord%3D0%26marketExtension%3Dinclude%26relevanceConfig%3Ddefault%26searchRadius%3D75%26trimCodeList%3DFORDMACHE%257CPremium%26interiorColorsSimple%3DBLACK%26isNewSearch%3Dfalse&numRecords=25&firstRecord=0&modelCodeList=FORDMACHE&makeCodeList=FORD&searchRadius=75&trimCodeList=FORDMACHE%7CPremium&makeCode1=FORD&modelCode1=FORDMACHE&clickType=listing) It shows with a higher MSRP, rather than listing it as a markup.

UPDATE 4: Since this post was picked up by Clean Technica, I have heard back from Mike Levine. We will see what this brings.

UPDATE 5: The General Manager at Santa Monica Ford called after hearing from Mike Levine’s team and confirmed that the car I have on deposit will be sold at sticker with benefit of any Ford incentives added on. ETA is week of April 27. I’m optimistic!!


We had picked out the car, brought a quote on our trade-in from CarMax, and my own financing offer. Dealer could get me a better interest rate, so that’s as good, but the payments didn’t seem to add up. So I asked for the breakdown. First they had “forgotten” to include the trade-in, and then said they couldn’t match CarMax. (Salesman had said they would). Fine. I’ll take it to CarMax.

Then they did the “did your salesman talk to you about pricing?” and admitted they marked the car up $5k. But there was a $1600 rebate. I told them I wouldn’t pay one dollar of markup. They added another $3000 rebate, bringing the net markup to $400. So I told them we were out and started walking. They tried really hard to get us to stay, where I began getting pissy. They made a last call to the GM, who wouldn’t let go of the $400, so I walked.

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Driving from Riverside to Culver City in rush hour (well over an hour) to get this treatment was aggressively not worth it. I still have one reserved at a dealership that promises to be better behaved, but I’m now reconsidering my options.

Just needed to vent a bit.

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48 thoughts on “Didn’t expect to be back, but walked on the Mustang Mach E because dealer surprised me with a “market price adjustment.””
  1. Good on you for walking out. Ford dealers have been pulling that garbage for years, most recently dealers were putting big mark-ups on the Bronco Sport of all things.

  2. and the rebate shouldn’t matter with the markup. They’re separate issues. Dealers always love to do this to hide the purchase price. The dealership isn’t giving you the rebate, Ford is. The dealer isn’t doing you any favors.

    I remember when I tried to buy a Jetta back in 2000 or so. The dealer tried to pull the same stuff on me. Oh, this option (you didn’t ask for) is only $10 a month! Yeah, I’m not paying an additional $600 for pinstripes that are ugly anyway. We got a final deal, and they tacked on an ‘advertising fee’.

    ‘What’s this $500 fee?’

    ‘Oh, we have to pay for the ads to advertise this car!’

    ‘Yeah, but I already knew what I wanted when I walked in. I never saw an ad. Why do I have to pay for your ads? Shouldn’t that come out of your end… you know, cost of doing biz?’

    My wife and I ended up walking to rethink it. Good thing too. The next day we found out we were qualified to buy a house, and that was a much better investment.

    VW dealers are terrible. I love the cars, but I loathe having to deal with the dealerships for anything but the parts department. I honestly don’t see many dealers that are any better, tho. I think the new car industry is just corrupt.

    My mom had a Jetta Wagon she bought new at the stealerhsip in Santa Rosa, CA. She had it in for the 15k mile checkup, and they told her that the tires were worn out, and she needs 4 new tires. The tires were fine with like 60% tread left. My mom (RIP) was really great about smelling BS coming off of slimy people, and got off on turning their lies back on themselves. She came off as a nice sweet older lady (I think she was around 65 at the time), but she was smart and shrewd as they come. She started saying that maybe she should complain to Volkswagen about the crappy tires they put on her car at the factory, and how she was going to file a complaint…. ‘Can I please fill out a complaint form (while waiting in your showroom)? Can I talk to the general manager of this dealership?’ She dragged it out for a good 15 minutes before they caved and said, ‘oh, let my senior mechanic take a look at those tires… oh, they’re fine!!’ LOL. My mom was like a pro at mental Ju-Jitsu. It probably comes from decades of working in a psych hospital dealing with crazy manipulative patients.

  3. Good for you on walking away. This spring we bought my wife a car and had a prenegotiated deal over email. We should have signed papers and left. Instead they spent over an hour trying to sell us some dumb package with the first couple oil changes and stuff like free key replacement, coating package, etc for almost $2k. F that. I eventually told them they had 5 minutes to make it work at the original price or a I was walking. Incredibly frustrating.

  4. Ford is losing some loyal customers over their handling of the Mach E rollout due to greedy dealers. This will return to bite them on the ass, and hard.

  5. You did the right thing; paying a dime over sticker for a car makes no sense. Maybe consider sending the story to ford corporate since I heard they have been cracking down on dealers marking up in demand cars like Mach E and the upcoming Bronco.

    Start keeping an eye out for other cancelled orders (maybe even yours) where the dealer doesn’t want the car taking up space on their lot.

  6. Ford needs to sell these cars directly. Dealers are literally hurting their sales long term.

  7. Good choice to walk out. Make sure you also leave them a bad review on Google and Yelp.

  8. Airport Marina Ford? I went in there once to look at a car and it was an awful, cliché car dealership experience. Super aggressive salesmen. Not a good vibe at that place.

  9. Respect for standing your ground. And these same pieces of shit want to ban direct sales because of “consumer choice”, ugh.

  10. Dealers really are the cork in the bottle for EV adoption.

    Always hiding EVs or lying about them.

    My 2 cents. Car makers should tell them to sell a minimum number of EVs per month, otherwise lose their dealship.

  11. Tell us who this dealer is so I don’t make the same mistake to walk in to this piece of shit dealership. I am not financial smart as you so I might not be able to locate they tricks.

  12. Take a picture of the documentation and send it to corporate, Ford comes down very hard on dealers doing this.

  13. Shit like this is why I don’t bother buying new cars. Last new car I bought they delivered and it had unpaid toll fees that came a month later. Called they dealership they said “call that the delivery fee” fuck american car dealers.

  14. Good for you on walking out! Car dealerships hope emotions take over and the consumer will pay “only a few more hundred” than expected or in their car budget.

  15. Good! Dealers need to waste a lot of their own time and energy and lose when they pull those kinds of tricks. I don’t mind seeing car dealers and salesmen lose their businesses over those kinds of tactics.

  16. Want to get more enraged? Look into how dealership licensing works and how it’s all in the family.

  17. The insane thing is that they were trying to not only mark it up but also take the rebates on top. And Ford wonders why people are willing to put up with Tesla’s dubious customer service. At least you’re not getting robbed of $8000 up front

  18. This is incredibly common. I’m old, and have bought lots of cars over the yeas, and every time I feel like I need a shower when I get home. Every damn time.

  19. If multiple Ford dealers are giving you the runaround on Mach E pricing,

    The best thing to do may be to buy a Volkswagen ID.4 instead.

    Smoother ride, more cargo space in the back, better ground clearance. Trade off is no frunk and slightly less premium interior. But you’d also get 3 years of EA charging.

  20. Ford dealership Markups are always laughable and this is why they fight tooth and nail to make Tesla and Rivian direct sales models illegal. They just keep shooting themselves in the foot with these shenanigans.

  21. This is why I love the Tesla model.

    Forget the cars, but being able to order online and not having to deal with in person negotiations seems like a great buying experience. I know what I’m paying and I know what everyone else is also paying.

  22. Share your experience with the Ford Motor Co. customer experience concierge @ (800) 392-3673. Best case scenario, they will call the dealership and tel them to knock that shit out.

  23. Totally understandable for you to walk. Haven’t dealers yet learned that the simplest thing is NOT to screw the customer around? Does Ford have an online sales website, a la Tesla style?

  24. Plus you’re still missing out on the sales tax benefits of the trade in vs selling to car max

  25. This is kinda why I like Tesla. I walk in, I pay the sticker price, I leave. Why are cars sold like this, still?

  26. Did you order thru the website because it clearly shows the upfront agreed upon price, including any markup?

  27. Bummer that you had to deal with shady sales practices.

    You made the right decision to walk out. After “forgetting” your trade in they should have given you the MSRP.

    At the moment it is a sellers market so not out of the question to see prices above MSRP. Try buying a house at the selling price, not easy right now.

    The way you were treated says a lot about the people at that dealership.

  28. Hey we were down the street from each other today! I saw a Volvo XC40 EV at the Culver City Volvo, funny enough.

  29. I’m confused…I thought you had to order a Mach-E, like Tesla or Rivian, and the price was the price. I was under the impression that was it, no haggling. This is one of the things that appeals to me about this market shift with BEVs, the ordering process. I’ve gone through the process of haggling more times than I can count, and it always frustrates and upsets me. This is disappointing to hear (not that I was planning on getting a Mach-E, but just in general).

  30. >they marked the car up $5k

    This is why I always wait until December 20th before I make an offer on a previous-year car that’s still on the lot.

    So long as dealerships can’t hold on to Mach-E inventory, there’s no incentive to lose money on you. If a previous-year model is still on the lot at the end of December, it’s burning a pretty big hole in their pocket, and they tend to be willing to deal at that point.

    >First they had “forgotten” to include the trade-in, and then said they couldn’t match CarMax. (Salesman had said they would). Fine. I’ll take it to CarMax.

    Did you factor in the tax savings from doing a dealer trade-in?

  31. Go at the end of the month. They get ready to deal when they’re trying to make quotas.

  32. Dealers are the absolute worst.

    I was so glad to not have to deal with a dealer with my Tesla purchase. I hope other manufacturers adopt the direct purchase model in time, since obviously not everyone wants a Tesla.

  33. America is wild. Absolutely wild. I’ve never heard stories like this in the U.K.

    It just seems so competitive here compared to the US

  34. I really have to admit that buying a Tesla was so much easier. There was no haggling. You pretty much know that when you walk in, this is the price. There is no negotiating.
    I think Saturn was like that as well back in the day. One day these guys are going to recognize that this BS will not work

    One thing to try, just as a piece of advice, is the Costco program. Although dealers try to change deals at the end, you can call Costco and it usually ends any dealer BS. I bought a car using them and the haggle factor went down dramatically.

  35. Bought a Tesla in March, the experience was incredible. No stress, straightforward, and no deceptive salespeople.

  36. I went through that myself. In the end I bought a Tesla in 5 minutes online. Best decision

  37. The auto market is beyond insane right now. Demand far outweighs supply and prices increase as a result. I personally have seen the highly desired Ram TRX go for $20k over MSRP in a wholesale auction. That’s before it gets to the consumer and the dealer marks it up. The cost in being an early adopter right now is extreme. Sorry man, maybe wait a year for this insanity to clam down?
    (Not to excuse that dealer from doing some shady shit – that’s fucked up and deserves a fiery review on all platforms. Most dealers take it very seriously)

  38. I am just curious what made you decide the Mach E over the model three. I assume you drove both.

  39. I had ordered a Mustang too. I ended up walking away from it, and losing me deposit. Had a horrible experience with the sales team. I asked them to tell me how much it would be to lease, which they didn’t want to tell me. Instead the wanted me to come in to the dealership. Eventually I was told that to lease a Mustang Mach-E would cost $1200 per month for 3 years. When I told the sales guy to be serious, he said he was. Honestly I felt kind of scammed. I hated the fact that I could never get a straight answer. I left, and bought a Tesla instead.

  40. The sooner manufacturers eliminate the the dealer the better. It’s long overdue. Just another innovation that keeps Tesla ahead of the competition.

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