Waiting / Giving up on new T-Bird

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Uncle Heavy

Over Labor Day weekend my wife and I drove a 2002 T-Bird at our local dealership. After a brief discussion we decided to buy one, but the one we wanted was sold while we were thinking it over. Our salesman thought he could find one that matched our specifications. Unfortunately he could not get another dealer to cooperate with him. Instead we decided to wait for a new one that was to arrive the first week of October.

Now we enter the third week of October and we have not heard much about the vehicle. All seemed to be well toward the end of September as we got a dealer confirmation number and then a serial number. Since then, we've heard nothing and our inquiries at the dealership are met with frustration on the part of our sales person who states that he can get no other information out of Ford's system then the order confirmation and serial number and that there is no ETA information available.

During the six weeks that have elapsed I have read virtually every post to this site and enjoyed the discussions very much. Unfortunately I have also started to talk myself out of buying the T-Bird when/if it arrives. I have a hard time plunking down $40K of my hard-earned cash on a vehicle manufactured by a company that can't manage its supply chain. While I appreciate the design that is reminiscent of days gone by, I expect more out of a company that claims, "Quality is Job 1."

Any comments? Is there a resource for more information than I am getting from my dealer?

I realize that I can go purchase a car from a different dealer. I'm in the Chicago area and there are many other dealerships that have the car I want in stock. I've been reluctant to do this because I feel my sales person has acted in good faith and I'm willing to be patient. I prefer to deal with a local dealer than to work with someone who is 30 minutes away.

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I have a couple of comments. First, I'm sure many will tell you that the salesman turnover is high at car lots, so there is a big chance your salesman won't even work there when the car arrives.

If you can find the car elsewhere in stock for the same price, I would buy it since your dealership is unable to give you appropriate order update information.

Look in our For Sale Forum and you'll find many dealers selling at or below MSRP.
UNCLE I would buy the T-Bird from another dealer, but I would have it serviced at your local dealer. Im sure since your local dealer can't sell you the car, that they will be more than happy to service it and continue to have you as a customer.

While your dealership/manufacturer experience has not been first-rate, I can assure you the car is.

Our first visit to the dealership resulted in the sales manager not letting my wife and I test-drive the car since we told him we weren't interested in paying the $5,000 ADM. Later, the purchase itself was fine, he was not involved.

The first service visit went fine at the same dealer. If you're at all still excited about getting the 2002 you want, then follow the advice posted in the other replies...try another dealer, and make a good deal. We got ours at MSRP in late-July, but you can probably make them come down from that quite a bit at this juncture. The dealers here in the DC area are dealing at below MSRP now.

I hope this helps. You'll love the car if you get it.

PK- Blue/Full Blue/Blue Top #16336
Uncle Heavy:
Exactly what happened to me. Ordered in March '01 and still didn't have a clue from the salesman in August '02.
Stopped to look at a Red one in another dealership. He asked if I was interested. I said only in a triple black. He took my number and in two days found me one. Identicle to my order and same sticker price.
By the way, I cancelled my order at the dealers but kept calling the 800 # to track it's status. It is due in to the dealership this week and they do not have an order for it from a T-Birder.
Unfortunately it's in Massachusetts.
You have a hard time waiting 3 or 4 weeks. How about all of us who got some of the very first 2002's. Many had to wait as long as I did, 2 years & 8 months. Two years of the wait was with no word from Ford or the dealer. In fact for the 1st year a lot of us were not even sure if the car would become a reality.

Yellow/Yellow Prem. 02 Bird w/full accent
1999 F150 Super Cab 4x4 Off Road
1998 Taurus SE Sport 24V
I ordered my red one in July and after waiting two and a half months it came in with paint flaws, however after shopping around and with the increased production at the end of the year I was able to get the same color from another local dealer for $1000 under MSRP. I think you could do the same in your area. It is worth the extra mile even at MSRP. It is the most fun car I have ever had. Worth the wait, worth the trouble. As the previous post said a lot of people waited over two years... Also there is an 800 number you can check with the Ford computer and get the status of your original car. It is for dealers only and you need the VIN or order number and the dealer code number, this was on my original order print out the dealer gave me. Then you don’t have to rely on the dealer information. With this forum I know more about the tbird and problems and joys than my local dealer.

Our local dealers have (7) at one dealer. (2) at another dealer, (2) at another dealer and (1) at another. A dealer in Columbus OH has(17) in stock and a dealer in Louisville has (25) in stock they are out there and I think the dealers will deal.

take it from me and the others its worth it.....

good luck
I appreciate everyone's replies on this topic. I don't mean to put myself ahead of those of you who have demonstrated tremendous patience in waiting for months and/or years to get your cars. I'm just surprised that in this day and age when manufacturing can be highly organized and staged, it's amazing to me that Ford doesn't work harder to do a better job of communicating accurate data regarding production to their dealers and customers.

I did hear today that the eta is now October 28. I guess we'll wait and see.

Thanks again for the encouragement and helpful info!
Don't blame Ford for what may be a saleman who doesn't know how the system works, isn't interested in really finding out the info for you, or may not be telling you the truth but rather what he thinks you want to know.

Its amazing how much info is available if (and in some cases its a big if) the dealer/salesman is really interested in looking for it.
Dear Sirs-Having owned and restored a variety of FoMoCo products,I am pretty fed up with Ford in general.Although I spent $25K on my 1963 Falcon and chased ALL of the parts except the head and shortblock,my 1984 Mustang burned me out on Ford completely!You should look under your T-bird-The unibody is so flimsy that there are TWO X subframes bolted underneath to limit body flex-Now that's CHEAP for a $40,000 car!These cars are pretty,but do not appear to be that structurally sound!I would TRIPLE check the jackpoints on this car before EVER raising her!BTW,my newest car is a 1994 Honda,and unfortunately,they build a better car-It is not unusual to get 200-300 K out of a Honda engine!My 1984 3.8L had blowby at 98k!Quality is NOT job one at the new Ford!Rant off!-Gearhead
Sorry about the double post, don't know what happened, Anyhoooo....Responding to Gearhead's rant, Yes, we paid 40K+ for a 02 T-Bird, even if it does have a fault or two. What I want to know is why the H@ll would anyone put 25K into a Falcon?? Cheapest car Ford ever put together! This (by the way) from a dyed in the wool FoMoCo driver for 37 years. Now, that said, have a nice day Gearhead. Shrps74

Originally posted by shrps74:
Quality in the American automobile has gone south again. Although I don't have complaints about my T-Bird, I can understand by the posts, what some of the aggravations are all about. I have a 1999 Caddy that has recently had a lot of problems. Unfortunately I bought a 2002 Seville this year and I hope I do not experience more of the same. Maybe next time I have to go back to the Japanese vehicles
Uncle Heavy, I didnt mind waiting almost a year for my 2002 because I learned about the car and visited with great people on this site, then took a cruise on route 66. You are buying more than a tbird, you are making great acquaintances by being on this site. Leon PS It is snowing in Des Moines tonight
Originally posted by George:
Quality in the American automobile has gone south again. Although I don't have complaints about my T-Bird, I can understand by the posts, what some of the aggravations are all about. I have a 1999 Caddy that has recently had a lot of problems. Unfortunately I bought a 2002 Seville this year and I hope I do not experience more of the same. Maybe next time I have to go back to the Japanese vehicles
George try a Lincoln next time. Regards from Pittsfield. Jim W.
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