One of the biggest scams in the car industry is new car dealers who promise allocations that don’t exist.
When you are new to this game, it’s that feeling of winning the golden ticket, but those who have been around long enough know it’s BS.
“I got a new GT3 allocation for 18 months from now!”
You have no idea how many people fall for it.
Now, you may be asking yourself (or me): “How is this a scam, exactly?”
Let’s talk about the new car building process.
A new car, especially an exotic car like a Ferrari, McLaren, or Lamborghini takes 6 months from the day the order is placed to the time it rolls onto a boat to come to the US.
This means when someone says they have a 9-month allocation, what happens is the dealer will put in that order within the next 90 days, and 6 months later, the car will arrive at the showroom.
So… here is the easy scam dealers play on unsuspecting customers all the time.
You walk into a Ferrari dealer and they’ll tell you that in 18 months, you will get the rare SF90, which are currently selling well over sticker price.
This means that in a year the dealer will put in your SF90 order.
Excited by the prospect, you give the dealer a non-refundable $10,000 deposit to “hold your spot” and they say: “Hey, while you wait for your SF90, how bout a nice F8 or Roma to hold you over?”
There is one issue with that idea: the SF90 is still needs to be in production one year from now.
Most exotics are two-year runs, which start 7 months before the model year of the car.
SF90s are two-year runs, and for one year the coupe overlaps with spider. It is unlikely that any coupes are going to be made past late 2022.
So what happens to that 18 month allocation?
Two potential outcomes.
Most likely (9/10 times), you get a call that says “Oh, I’m so sorry bro, Ferrari pulled our allocations back so we can’t fulfill your order. Would you like to apply your deposit towards a Roma or the new SUV that will almost certainly be shit?”
OR, you get EXTREMELY lucky and someone higher on the “list” than you canceled their order, and you either get to place your order or get stuck with their spec.
In the meantime, the dealer probably got you to buy a Roma or F8 or some other piece of entry-level Ferrari garbage that is going to lose you tens of thousands of dollars.
This isn’t just happening at Ferrari.
At Lamborghini, for example, the 2022 Huracan STO allocations started in mid 2021 and will most likely end in late 2022.
That means that if your allocation is more than 12 months out from the time of this writing (January 2022), it is highly unlikely that you’ll get a car.
Anything allocation timeline greater than 9 months is a pipe dream with no guarantee, and most likely a great way to get you hooked on an empty promise and into a lesser car faster.
Why do dealers do this? Excellent question.
- You buy other cars that are available sooner, and they trick you to saying you can skip the line and get closer. (Closer to a pipe dream is still not a reality.)
- They keep your deposit and move it to another car that you request which you will also not get, unless it’s crap no one wants. This fatigue means you eventually go from “I want the SF90” to “I’ll take a Roma”
- It’s their job to secure their future allocations. If markets crash and they no longer have orders, they now have 20 deposits that are either forced to turn into a car or forfeited when cancelled. So what do they lose by promising you the world? Nothing!
As I write this, Ferrari has officially closed all SF90 coupe and spider orders, yet dealers are still taking names and deposits.