Letter from Jim O'Connor regarding the old pre-orders

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Mar 15, 2001
Thunderbird Year
This is old news, but those of you who ordered cars from Ford dealers a long time ago may find this interesting. All Ford dealers were sent this:

September 16, 1999
To: All Ford Dealers (SMD#000)
From: Jim O'Connor, President, Ford Division
Subject: Future Thunderbird

The Thunderbird concept car is generating excitement Since we revealed the Thunderbird concept car at the 1999 North American International Auto Show, the response from the public, dealers and media has been absolutely phenomenal. Many of you have seen first hand the excitement the concept car has created when consumers walk into your dealership wanting to buy the new Thunderbird now. Brand image is important Thunderbird can be an outstanding image car for Ford and Ford dealers. The impressions consumers have of Thunderbird will be created by the product, our marketing efforts and their purchase and ownership experience. You play a particularly key role in the purchase and ownership experience. Thunderbird is our opportunity to enhance the image of Ford and Ford dealers, and to become truly consumer driven. With your help in properly handling these early Thunderbird prospects, Thunderbird will be everything we both want it to be.

Here are some facts you should know
The Thunderbird is not yet scheduled for production and will not be available until sometime after the Spring of 2001 – giving the program team time to make sure the car is everything you and our customers are expecting. Production will be limited and no dealer should assume he or she will receive a significant allocation of vehicles. Allocations will not be affected by the number of orders dealers have taken.

Deposits should not be accepted
I am aware some dealers have already begun to accept deposits. Ford Motor Company is not accepting orders at this time and dealers should not accept deposits from consumers.

Consumer satisfaction is key
Dealers are advised to take the names of consumers who wish to purchase this car but not take deposits. Consumers can then be recontacted once you know you have allocation to provide them vehicles, the time frame that you can provide them in, and the price at which you can sell them. We must give consumers a realistic assessment of when they are likely to take delivery of their new cars but we can’t do that now.

It’s been some time since we’ve had a car generate so much enthusiasm with the public. Together, our job is to maintain that enthusiasm while managing consumer expectations so every Thunderbird prospect and customer has a good experience.

/s/ Jim O'Connor

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