Buying a vehicle today is more difficult and expensive than ever. The high prices and low supply are the result of a shortage of semiconductor chips that run everything from a car’s highly complex navigation system to its transmission, labor difficulties and trucking challenges presented by the conditions exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Additionally, automakers are looking to the future, initiating factory renovations and vehicle lineup changes that are pushing electric vehicles to the forefront of the buying conversation despite their lukewarm reception from the general public. .
These supply chain difficulties are changing the way car buyers purchase their new model. Gone are the days of walking into a field and driving away with the car you want, signed ready, that day. Buyers must reserve their model months or even years in advance, put down a deposit and wait for it to be ready.
As electric vehicles kicked off the modern reservation trend with Tesla’s Model 3, Y and Cybertruck leading the way, many manufacturers have followed suit, hoping to ease the strain on their supply chains. The Ford Bronco was only available for reservation from day one.
The Ford F-150 Lightning has a current waiting list of over 200,000 while the GMC Hummer EV has over 75,000 owners waiting. And the Tesla Cybertruck is said to have over a million.
As reservation holders and depot managers eagerly await the release of their new vehicle, some automakers are offering freebies or sending status update emails with photos of their build progress. Here’s what automakers are doing to keep their reservation holders happy.
MINI said last week that some reservation holders for its Cooper sedan will receive the comedic name “We-are-working-hard-to-get-you-your-car, waiting-is-the-worst, meanwhile-Happy-Puzzling , MINI Puzzle” with life-size press images of MINI vehicles. Others will receive a regular sized puzzle.
“People buy a MINI because of its cheeky, fun-to-drive spirit, so we wanted to give owners something fun to do while waiting to get behind the wheel of their new MINI,” said Rah Mahtani, Brand Communications Manager. , MINI USA in a press release.
The current wait for a MINI Cooper is only a few months, according to the company.
The Acura Integra returned in 2022 after a 16-year absence. The company began taking reservations for the four-door sedan in March, and the first 500 hands-up received a limited edition non-fungible token (NFT). Acura’s NFT is a digital artwork featuring a gold-painted Integra on a platform above water, with golden orbs in the background.
Deliveries of the Integra began three months after its debut.
Porsche wouldn’t share the magnitude of the Taycan electric sports sedan backlog. But a company representative told Newsweek it works with reservation holders on a case-by-case basis.
“Effective now, we have aligned our communication strategy for customers awaiting either confirmation of an award and/or delivery of their vehicle to provide information about where they are in the process,” a doorman said. -word of Porsche. Newsweek. “This includes email communications, welcome videos, and digital and physical surprise and treat gifts. We estimate the frequency of communications to be once every 30-45 days.”
Additionally, Porsche has the “Track Your Dreams” program which is currently available for 911 and Taycan which allows reservation holders to see where their car is in the manufacturing process.
The Rivian R1T pickup was announced in 2018 and deliveries just started last year in September. Like other automakers, it prioritizes those it can build now. That meant giving up the big battery for buyers until 2024. Rivian provided some of its reservation holders with posters of their specific build.
The company told us it has increased its cadence of communication with shoppers, who receive updates directly from senior director of customer engagement, Tony Caravano.
Ford has a few popular vehicles in the works, and they’re not all electric. There are currently waiting lists for the Maverick, F-150 Lightning, Bronco and Mustang Mach-E. For Maverick, Ford communicates every few months with new information and updates on their order being planned and built. These customers have just received an email preparing them to wait until 2023 for delivery, due to supply chain issues.
“If customers choose not to remove any of the above packages/features, we will be offering a special private discount offer starting in August to customers with unscheduled orders,” a spokesperson said. Ford. Newsweek. “This private offer can be applied toward the order and purchase of a 2023 Maverick. Customers should see their Ford Dealer beginning in August to understand more details about this special private offer.”
Reservation holders received a free FITS kit that allows them to print their own accessories and install them in the vehicle.
Ford announced the new Bronco in 2017, a return of a 25-year-old name. It was supposed to debut in spring 2020 but was delayed due to the pandemic. It was finally revealed in July 2020 with bookings starting in December of the same year.
The Bronco roster was 160,000, although some reservation holders received limited-edition posters and model cars in the meantime, in addition to emails.
Ford didn’t return our emails about what it’s doing for F-150 Lightning reservation holders, nor GMC and its electric Hummer.