Of the 7,000 people who applied to buy the new Ford GT, only 500 were selected. That’s roughly seven percent of everyone who filled out the application. Ford’s selections of the winners has rankled a lot of people, but from what I’ve seen so far, Ford hand-selected its customers pretty wisely. Also, no one is entitled to their dream car.
A seven percent acceptance rate is extremely low. Many people have compared this process to applying for college, so I will too: seven percent is the same rate of acceptance that you’ll find at Columbia University, according to U.S. News. Which means that there were definitely people who really wanted the car but didn’t get it. That’s exclusivity.
Now, of course, a few of the cars went to celebrities and “influencers,” if you’ll forgive my use of that grating term. Exactly how many, I am still in the process of determining. But I suspect that the number is probably quite low. It only seems high because celebrities and “influencers” are the ones that make the most noise. Of course you’re going to be bombarded with news of these people getting a Ford GT. A lot of people talk about them. This is the nature of celebrity.
From what I can see, though, the big names that Ford chose also happened to be big car nerds, rather than just random stars and musicians and Instagram gods. It seems to me like these are the types of people who really enjoy cars and will definitely drive them and enjoy them—and more importantly for Ford, be vocal and visible with the GT when they do.
As for everyone else? Private citizens who saw a car they wanted, had the money, sent in an application, and hoped for the best. A reader pointed me in the direction of this Ford GT thread, where some everyday owners were celebrating the fact that they got the car. And it made me really happy to see.
Of course I’m going to report on the famous people who got the car. Of course that’s why Ford chose to sell some GTs to them—there’s PR potential there. But if you’ve been paying attention to even just .001 percent of the Ford GT news from the past year and a half or so, you’d know that there was a lot of hype behind this car before we knew which celebrities were buying it. And it’s interesting to see what kinds of cars they like.
In particular, I couldn’t agree with YouTuber Salomondrin’s video “How Ford Is Screwing With Their Most Loyal Customers.”
Salomondrin and his friends were denied Ford GTs, and they were understandably upset. But his statements like “I didn’t end up getting one of those Ford GTs...and I totally understand, I’m nobody and I don’t deserve anything,” and how Ford should add more cars “for real collectors that really deserve your car,” alienate the only two groups of people that will get a Ford GT.
Because this has become a conversation of the celebrity enthusiast versus the non-celebrity enthusiast.
Salomondrin is implying that the celebrities who got the car aren’t real collectors and that they don’t deserve it. Conversely, each GT-receiving celebrity I’ve kept track of has a history of being a car nut and was positively overjoyed at being able to own a Ford GT. So, I’m not exactly sure what he means when he talks about people who “deserve” the car. Certainly, there are loyal customers who own multiple Ford GTs (like his friends), but I question if that really warrants such entitlement to a certain car.
And when he expresses understanding at not getting the car himself because “he’s a nobody,” I don’t think that’s fair, either. I don’t think being a “nobody” stops you from getting a Ford GT. If you want to measure Somebodiness by exposure and social media following, I’m sure that the middle-aged lawyer in Virginia who was accepted is more of a nobody here. That doesn’t matter.
Salomondrin is indignant on behalf of his friends, which is something that we’ve all felt before. His friends seem like extremely loyal Ford customers.
But to accuse Ford of leaving them high and dry is a bit rich. It’s not like there was some egregious engine malfunction in a Ford product and Ford just threw up its hands and went, “It’s your problem now, not mine.”
Besides, these aren’t even the only Ford GTs that Ford is going to sell. More are coming, because, according to Autocar, “Another batch of 500 cars will begin production after the first run is completed some time in 2018. Order books for those units could reopen in just under a year’s time.”
So we have plenty of time to start this process over again. And if you don’t get selected for the second time in a row, go right ahead and buy that Ferrari that you used to be above buying. Clearly that’s what Ford is saying to you if it doesn’t want you to own a GT.