When it comes to vehicle acquisition, fleets have a few clear routes: ordering from the factory, purchasing from dealer stock or leasing. Many fleets are exploring leasing to secure more favorable financing terms and reduce acquisition costs; we’ll talk all about leasing in a blog post coming next month. But for fleets looking to purchase vehicles, the choice often boils down to buying off the lot or ordering from the manufacturer. With many 2023 vehicle ordering windows opening soon, it’s the ideal time to firm up your acquisition plan.
When does it make sense to purchase vehicles direct from the factory, and which ordering windows are about to open? Read on for a quick overview of dealer stock vs. factory ordering, plus charts outlining the opening dates for popular GM, Ford and Dodge models.
Benefits of Factory Ordering
Buying from a dealer will get you vehicles faster than factory ordering, and it doesn’t require as much upfront planning. Still, there are numerous benefits to factory ordering — especially if standardization and cost optimization are on your list of fleet management goals.
- Get the exact features you want: Dealers stock their lots with vehicles they think buyers want. If you buy from the lot, you’re beholden to the available inventory. That means you could wind up paying for features you don’t need — or having to go without the features you do need. With factory ordering, you can choose the exact features required for your fleet. It’s a Goldilocks-type scenario: Rather than getting more or less than you need, you get a vehicle that’s just right.
- Standardize your fleet: Fleet standardization is one of the most overlooked strategies for optimizing your Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). Standardization might seem out of reach when you’re buying vehicles off the lot, but factory ordering makes it possible to purchase numerous models with identical features. Timing is everything, especially if you’re an established fleet and not building from the ground up. But generally speaking, the sooner you can standardize, the better. By standardizing your fleet, you can optimize fueling, maintenance and other line items that directly impact your TCO.
- Reduce costs: By only paying for the features you actually need and standardizing your fleet, you’re already on your way to cost savings. Factory ordering can also help you save on the sticker price per vehicle. Many manufacturers, like Ford, offer incentives for fleets that purchase direct. (Interested in factory ordering but need help taking advantage of every available incentive? Onward can help!)
Key Factory Ordering Windows (2023)
With factory purchasing windows about to open for many top fleet picks, now is the time to plan your orders for popular GM, Ford and Dodge models.
- Windows already open: Chevy Silverado 2500, Chevy Silverado 3500, GMC Sierra 2500 and GMC Sierra 3500
- Windows opening soon: Chevy Silverado 1500 and GMC Sierra 1500 (June 1); Ford Maverick, F-250, F-350, F-450 and F-550 (July 17)
- Windows not yet finalized: GMC Canyon, Ford F-150, Dodge 1500, Dodge 2500, Dodge 3500 and Chevrolet Colorado
Keep scrolling for ordering windows and production start dates for popular GM, Ford and Dodge models. Don’t see the vehicle you’re interested in? Reach out to our team so that we can get you the information you need.
Making the Most of Factory Ordering
From feature selection to manufacturer incentives, there are many perks to ordering direct — but also lots to navigate. If you need help optimizing your factory ordering, drop us a line. Our experts are equipped to guide you through the process quickly and efficiently so that you can get the right vehicle at the right price, while the 2023 ordering windows are still open.