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Discussion Starter #1
Hello!

Skip this part if you don't care about back story:
So a little back story, I've been a Mazda fan for about 8 years now and never saw myself buying a Ford. Every Ford my parents have owned has crapped out before 60k miles. I currently own a 2012 Mazdaspeed3 which happily beats the ST any day in just about everything I care about, (utility, room in the back, seats actually fold all the way down, handling, acceleration, etc-though I do like the way the ST's engine sounds better). But after watching videos about the RS and reading about it, holy crap I'm excited for it! Every day I'm checking for new info. On paper it looks like its going to be a monster and after watching a video where the engineers that built the systems talk about all the nerdy stuff that goes into it, I'm hooked and trading my MS3 for it as soon as I get a chance.

Actual Message I want to share
I live in Irvine California but I was in Houston, Texas when I realized that I could reserve the car. I went to a dealership called Joe Meyers Ford, since Joe Meyers Mazda has been incredible to me for the past many years. However, the sales guy I got was incredibly shady. He wouldn't let me build the car on the system or see any of the things he was doing. He asked me to tell him all of the options I wanted and then disappeared into the manager's office for about 20 minutes. While he was gone, I started looking through this book that was on the table called, "Get to Know Your Salesman" which had about 200 pictures of families who he'd sold a car too. Not sure why they think that's supposed to foster trust with the customer but whatever.

When he returned he explained that MSRP was [roughly] 42k and then there was an additional $2500 "market fee". My dad was with me just because he was interested in one as well, and I asked innocently, "What's the market fee?" The sales guy didn't answer but my dad said, "That's the fee they add since they know they will sell the car no matter what, so they mark it up for higher profit, isn't that right?" The salesman responded, "I dunno I'm new to all of this." I wonder how many sales it takes to not be considered a new salesman. I'd assume less than a couple hundred sales.

I then asked how much it'd be to reserve one. He said it was a non-refundable $2500.00 fee. My dad promptly said, "I don't think that's even legal.. You can't charge a deposit on property that doesn't exist yet and refuse to return it." I said, "Well let me just take this paper and we will think about it. I don't think what you're asking for is legal but I'll do some research". The salesman replied, "Oh you don't have to research it my manager is right over there we can ask him!". I declined and we left the dealership.

On the way home, we were passing a Ford dealership called Helfman Ford, its was closer to my house. We were kind of confused about the market fee up-charge and figured we'd get a second opinion. It doesn't hurt to ask if another dealership is doing the same thing. So we stopped and went inside, and I brought the paper that the last dealer had given me with the 2500.00 up-charge + non-refundable fee.

The salesman there that I talked to took the paper back to his manager. They only had 3 allocations and there was only 1 left. He came back and told me, "I have no idea what this 2500.00 market charge is, we won't do you like that. We'll give you the MSRP price for what you want. Also, you give us $1000 as a deposit, that car is yours. If you come by and test drive it and don't like it for what ever reason, you get your 1k back.".

After we talked a while, they said they understood that I live in Cali and will even hold the car for a couple months if they need to so that I can get time to come down and get it. They are a family owned Ford dealership and "Don't deal in that cooperate bs that the larger dealerships try and pull", so they say.

I gave them my 1k, reserved the car exactly how I want it, and am going to pick it up when it gets in :)

My assessment and bottom line
Perhaps that dealership would have pulled the same thing if I didn't show them what the other dealership was doing. Perhaps they were simply "taking the hit" to earn my trust and guarantee a sale. I guess that's one thing you can try is when a dealer says there's a market fee, get them to write it down and take it to another dealer and see if they're doing the same thing. You'll at least get a better price from them or else say you'll just go buy it from the other guys if its the same price.

But whatever you do, don't let them tell you that the deposit if non-refundable. That's just not true.

I posted this because I've seen a lot of posts about some dealers charging as much as 5k above MSRP, that's insane! Don't let them get your money that easily!
 

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Hello!

Skip this part if you don't care about back story:
So a little back story, I've been a Mazda fan for about 8 years now and never saw myself buying a Ford. Every Ford my parents have owned has crapped out before 60k miles. I currently own a 2012 Mazdaspeed3 which happily beats the ST any day in just about everything I care about, (utility, room in the back, seats actually fold all the way down, handling, acceleration, etc-though I do like the way the ST's engine sounds better). But after watching videos about the RS and reading about it, holy crap I'm excited for it! Every day I'm checking for new info. On paper it looks like its going to be a monster and after watching a video where the engineers that built the systems talk about all the nerdy stuff that goes into it, I'm hooked and trading my MS3 for it as soon as I get a chance.

Actual Message I want to share
I live in Irvine California but I was in Houston, Texas when I realized that I could reserve the car. I went to a dealership called Joe Meyers Ford, since Joe Meyers Mazda has been incredible to me for the past many years. However, the sales guy I got was incredibly shady. He wouldn't let me build the car on the system or see any of the things he was doing. He asked me to tell him all of the options I wanted and then disappeared into the manager's office for about 20 minutes. While he was gone, I started looking through this book that was on the table called, "Get to Know Your Salesman" which had about 200 pictures of families who he'd sold a car too. Not sure why they think that's supposed to foster trust with the customer but whatever.

When he returned he explained that MSRP was [roughly] 42k and then there was an additional $2500 "market fee". My dad was with me just because he was interested in one as well, and I asked innocently, "What's the market fee?" The sales guy didn't answer but my dad said, "That's the fee they add since they know they will sell the car no matter what, so they mark it up for higher profit, isn't that right?" The salesman responded, "I dunno I'm new to all of this." I wonder how many sales it takes to not be considered a new salesman. I'd assume less than a couple hundred sales.

I then asked how much it'd be to reserve one. He said it was a non-refundable $2500.00 fee. My dad promptly said, "I don't think that's even legal.. You can't charge a deposit on property that doesn't exist yet and refuse to return it." I said, "Well let me just take this paper and we will think about it. I don't think what you're asking for is legal but I'll do some research". The salesman replied, "Oh you don't have to research it my manager is right over there we can ask him!". I declined and we left the dealership.

On the way home, we were passing a Ford dealership called Helfman Ford, its was closer to my house. We were kind of confused about the market fee up-charge and figured we'd get a second opinion. It doesn't hurt to ask if another dealership is doing the same thing. So we stopped and went inside, and I brought the paper that the last dealer had given me with the 2500.00 up-charge + non-refundable fee.

The salesman there that I talked to took the paper back to his manager. They only had 3 allocations and there was only 1 left. He came back and told me, "I have no idea what this 2500.00 market charge is, we won't do you like that. We'll give you the MSRP price for what you want. Also, you give us $1000 as a deposit, that car is yours. If you come by and test drive it and don't like it for what ever reason, you get your 1k back.".

After we talked a while, they said they understood that I live in Cali and will even hold the car for a couple months if they need to so that I can get time to come down and get it. They are a family owned Ford dealership and "Don't deal in that cooperate bs that the larger dealerships try and pull", so they say.

I gave them my 1k, reserved the car exactly how I want it, and am going to pick it up when it gets in :)

My assessment and bottom line
Perhaps that dealership would have pulled the same thing if I didn't show them what the other dealership was doing. Perhaps they were simply "taking the hit" to earn my trust and guarantee a sale. I guess that's one thing you can try is when a dealer says there's a market fee, get them to write it down and take it to another dealer and see if they're doing the same thing. You'll at least get a better price from them or else say you'll just go buy it from the other guys if its the same price.

But whatever you do, don't let them tell you that the deposit if non-refundable. That's just not true.

I posted this because I've seen a lot of posts about some dealers charging as much as 5k above MSRP, that's insane! Don't let them get your money that easily!
Amen.
 

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This is a pretty common thing with with limited run cars. Not saying it's right, but like mass civilian casualties in a nuke fight, it's what happens. Ford knows they have a good thing here. At least on paper, spec-for-spec, it's a better car than any current competitor. By not being forthcoming about actual planned production numbers, they've created market scarcity for a thing they know people will want. Car sales as a whole is a sleazy business. Their commission is tied to just how much they can get Joe Blow to shell out over invoice. If you haven't read this Edmund's article, it's a little dated but a great bit of insight.

You're actually quite lucky. You started early before the prices really shot through the roof. When the order banks opened, dealers charging ADM (Added Dealer Markup, that "Market Fee" you described) were the exception. Now they are the rule. I've called and/or visited several dozen dealers in at least 4 states over the past few weeks and have watched the markup go up and up. I wasn't able to find a single dealer within 500 miles that had an allocation and would sell it at MSRP. Early on I put in an order at a dealer with no allocation 2 hours away because he was willing to do sticker price. I figured I'd at least have that as a backup, but I've since given up looking and that's all I'm riding on. So consider yourself fortunate that you were able to snag an allocation at MSRP. I know many on here have bitten the bullet and dropped deposits on heavily marked-up allocations in fear that Ford may not build enough cars to meet the demand. I think the current record is $25k over sticker. Check out my "Naughty List" thread to see just how bad it is out there right now.

I'm also a potential Mazda convert - 4 RX-7's, an RX-8, and a Mazda3 2.3s. If the new Speed3 or RX-7 was out, I'd be after that, but this could be the next best thing.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Yeah, I mean I understand why they're doing it and that its definitely a battle right now. I did see your naughty list and holy crap that's insane! Its unfortunate, but I bet that eventually Ford will make enough to fill the demand. As I've been following the making of this thing, it seems like they have invested an absolute fortune in that car. I saw an article at one point claiming that the RS they had in the US while the thing was still being engineered ended up costing close to 500 million dollars because everything had to be hand crafted to simulate the current architecture of the design at the time. There have also been videos with the design lead talking about about how the globality of the car allows for a budget they couldn't possibly have had approved otherwise.

If I were a betting man, I'd say that this is simply a marketing strategy similar to the one that Nintendo took when the Wii was first released and they had only made enough to satisfy a small portion of the demand for the holidays. People sold them on ebay for thousands of dollars. It created an incredible amount of hype that may have lead to more sales. I'd say they've invested so much money into it that either A. Each car they sell they lose money (in which case they probably will only make the ones they've sold thus far - has happened to some high end cars before), or B. They're just building hype so that when round 2 opens up there's thousands of buyers ready.


Also hey to a fellow Mazda guy! I had an RX8 as well! Loved it! I've been waiting for an AWD Mazdaspeed3 forever and if that were confirmed to be happening I'd be going after that as well, but yeah I think this RS is the next best thing. I just really hope that its reliable. I've never had a problem with my Mazda and I drive it incredibly hard, even take it to Willow Springs Raceway every few months. I take good care of it of course but its definitely driven like it should be. The RS has really impressed me though! It sounds like it has some great tech in it. No limited slip diff though.. Why does Ford hate the limited slip diff so much!!? Though maybe it doesn't need it since it sends different amounts of power to each wheel independently.
 

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You lost me with the nit picks of the ST. The rear seats do fold completely flat, you can't beat it all day with a Mazda Speed as anyone in my local SCCA could tell you, and if there is any more room in a 3speed, it's negligible, but apparently you've been able to let go of all that and move on to the Blue Oval so I'll forgive you your initial fanboy comparisons.

As far as the hunt for a fair price goes, the strategy should be "I'm a buyer at MSRP or I walk". Remember that next year the RS will be build to demand. If we banded together, there would be dealers left holding MY16 that they couldn't see due to their efforts to gouge. Might even result in some discounted RS in the end. Remember, every day it sits on their lot, it cost them.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The rear seats do fold completely flat
Do they really?? Are you sure? 0.o So, in the MS3, the rear seats fold completely flat. Like, parallel to the ground flat. And there's so much room that I was able to bring home a 65 inch TV from Best Buy, where the sales guy was like, "There is absolutely no way that TV is fitting in that car". But it fit snug with about 1/4 inch between it and the front seats/ trunk door/ sides. It only fit though because the rear seats went completely flat.

After test driving the Focus ST, I went to the back and tried to push the rear seats down, and they were at a really good angle as far as they could go (about 30 degree angle) I wish I had a picture of it. I tried everything I could to get them flat but it turns out that because of the way the padding protrudes outward, the padding was hitting the bottom of the seats and keeping them from going flat.

That's a big deal to me for a couple of reasons.
1. One of the reasons I get a hatch back is for the amount of room in the back. I love that I can carry an insane amount of equipment for whatever trip I want to take.
2. I love camping in my car. Its cheaper, its easier, and there's just something about it that I really love. When I went to Laguna Seca I camped out on the top of the Cork Screw and I was able to just lay the back seats down and the amount of space was like a twin sized bed. It laid perfectly flat and I could just lay down and sleep.

That ST, there was nooooo way you were laying those seats down and sleeping on them. Now, this is just from what I saw. Perhaps there is a way that I don't know about to get them to lay flatter? Maybe there's different levels of seats that go down better than others? If you know of a way seriously please tell me because I imagine it will be the same problem with the RS and I'd love to find a way around it!

That said, I did go watch this video shortly after I commented on the MS3 being faster:

And I have to say, I stand corrected. Although I feel like the first guy was incredibly biased towards the Focus ST, the numbers don't lie, the ST is quicker. One of the things they mentioned in there that aligns with my experience is that the Focus ST does not feel like its faster. The MS3 turbo kicks in and its just like BAM - wave of torque - the ST doesn't pull you like that, its a much smoother torque curve. But the MS3 does feel like its a built a lot more solid than the ST, as also mentioned in that video. That's one of the things I worry about with the Ford is quality and reliability. All of that said though, the MS3 just has this "raw" aspect about it. Its just this aggressive, rip the steering wheel out of your hand feel to it and you're constantly fighting with it while going down the track. I like that about it.

Anyway, I've obviously decided to give Ford a chance. If the thing has all kinds of problems then I'll know better next time!
 

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The European seats fold flat I believe because the seat bott flips forward out of the way
 

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I can say a 55 inch samsung suhd tv was the absolute maximum I was able to fit in my st this way. And this is with my seat and the passenger front seat forward to where I was uncomfortable driving and I'm skinny
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Oh wow, yeah that's quite a significant difference. Its that giant plastic box on the right side that cuts out like 8 inches of space! Even the little bit on the left side matters as well. If the seats went down perfectly flat and those side things were gone it'd just as much room as I have! That's so unfortunate what are those things even for anyway? And I hear that the RS has even less room. Oh well, can't have it all I guess haha
 

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The seat bottoms flip forward allowing the backs to fold flat. The plastic box isn't there in the RS as that's a sub and the sub is in the trunk, not along side like it is in the ST
 

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ST rear seats do fold flat

...

After test driving the Focus ST, I went to the back and tried to push the rear seats down, and they were at a really good angle as far as they could go (about 30 degree angle) I wish I had a picture of it. I tried everything I could to get them flat but it turns out that because of the way the padding protrudes outward, the padding was hitting the bottom of the seats and keeping them from going flat.

...
<EDIT> Sorry, @Bluebyutoo - I see you already provided the same answer while i composing and typing :smiley_simmons:


You have to flip the ST rear seat bottoms up. you take the back the rear seat bottom, lift it up and rotate it toward the back of the front seat. It takes about 1 minute to do both and then the rear seatbacks lie flat. I am surprised you salesman did not know how to do this.


YMMV,

MidCow3

P.S. MazdaSpeed3 was very nice when they made it, but got really poor gas mileage 18/25 compared to ST 23/32
 

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After we talked a while, they said they understood that I live in Cali and will even hold the car for a couple months if they need to so that I can get time to come down and get it. They are a family owned Ford dealership and "Don't deal in that cooperate bs that the larger dealerships try and pull", so they say...
Make sure the dealer uses code 93N when ordering, "Non-Calif order for Calif reg":

FEDERAL EMISSIONS STATE DEALER ORDER FOR
CALIFORNIA EMISSIONS STATES REGISTRATION .......... 93N
Federal Emissions State dealers ordering a 50-State
Emissions System (Code 425) are also required to use
Code 93N to attest that the vehicle is to be registered in a
California Emissions State.

Otherwise you might have real problems trying to register it in CA. I ordered mine in PA, and it's coming to CA but after researching I found you need this sticker if you are purchasing in a non-Calif emissions state, like TX.

Congrats on the deal and finding that rare gem - an honest and informed dealer!

Jim
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Make sure the dealer uses code 93N when ordering, "Non-Calif order for Calif reg":

Jim
Yikes, really? I actually had quite a few questions about that. The sales guy at the dealer did tell me this:

Apparently, loooots and looots of people come from California to buy from them, and from Texas in general, to avoid property tax. He said that you register it to your parent's place and the registration is good for 2 years in Texas. When you register it into Cali after two years, you just tell them you bought it in Texas and kept it there for two year and your siblings drove it, and you just brought it into Cali a few days ago. This way, you don't get penalized.

I'm skeptical of this plan to be honest. I also feel like if for whatever reason I got pulled over and a cop saw my Cali license I'd be in trouble anyway
 

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Any neighbor or even a local cop can turn you in if they see the car frequently. It doesn't cost anything to add that checkbox to the order, nor do you get anything extra except the CA cert. But CA is happy. It's up to you, but I know 2 people that got bagged (they never knew how) and it was a hassle.

And yes, the combo of a CA license and TX plates is only going to fly like once - they might even give you a fix-it ticket to take care of within 15 days.

Jim
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
Yeah.. And I don't plan on driving with a front license plate until I absolutely have to so I'll be rolling probable cause anyway. Yeah good call, I'll let the dealership know to check that checkbox.
 

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I dont believe the US spec rear seats can flip the bottoms forward. It's certainly not something Ford advertises. I just went and tried to do it on a 2016 ST and the middle of the seat can wiggle a little bit but the drivers side portion wont budge. I know the regular focus can but there are little tabs on the seat base.
 

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I dont believe the US spec rear seats can flip the bottoms forward. It's certainly not something Ford advertises. I just went and tried to do it on a 2016 ST and the middle of the seat can wiggle a little bit but the drivers side portion wont budge. I know the regular focus can but there are little tabs on the seat base.
They all do, all Focus Models makes no difference. You are likely doing it wrong.
 

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wow they do! on older models (maybe it was escape?) you had tabs on the front where the seat bottom had to kind of slide forward first. this you just pop out lol
 
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