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The Pain of Ordering a Ford Escape Hybrid

We have a baby on the way, and so it's time to get rid of my 2-door Civic. Back in April, we decided on the Ford Escape Hybrid, but found out that they were few and far between. The 2009 models became available for ordering, so we went ahead and put in an order with the local dealer (Ted Britt, Fairfax). Ours was their first order of the '09 models, and everything seemed Jim Dandy.

Fast-forward 7 weeks to today. Our vehicle is still pending pickup in the queue for assembly. No VIN has been assigned. However, 3 vehicles ordered after ours have had VINs assigned, and are theoretically being assembled. The dealer is given no more status than this. Oh, and as if this isn't bad enough, they're being told that they'll only be allocated 9 Escape Hybrids, not the 11 originally indicated, which means that our order could be arbitrarily cancelled by Ford. This makes me wonder a couple things:
1) WTF?!?!?!?!?!!?!?
2) Why would Ford not process first in, first out, as I'm told all their other plants do?
3) Do they not realize how hard they're making it to buy an American car? Especially an American hybrid with superior technology?
4) Do they not realize that this is the last year for their tax credit, meaning there's literally no incentive for reduced/controlled production?
5) Have they not noticed that Toyota is owning the market, definitively and with force, all the while charging a heck of a lot more (fully-loaded Highlander Hybrid lists around $47k to the $35-36k for a fully-loaded Escape Hybrid)?
6) Does Ford honestly think that I can be sympathetic to the plight of the American auto industry in light of the my present experience?

Clearly, I'm a little annoyed. Let this be a warning to everyone: if the car isn't already built, don't bank on it ever getting into your hands. BTW, if anybody knows anybody at Ford Corporate, I'd love to hear an explanation of why they can't figure out how to lock in and build mine. :)


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» Why I Didn't Buy a Hybrid from The Falcon's View
As you may or may not recall, I had ordered a 2009 Ford Escape Hybrid from my local dealer back in April, but it never arrived. Ford instead randomly selected 5 people from the 50 who had placed orders with... [Read More]

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