Hooniverse Asks: Do You Hate Long Leads on Cars?

“Hey, look at that, it’s the new Ford Ecosport!” You might have exclaimed just those exact words had you attended the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show where Ford’s littlest crossover made its U.S. debut. You might have then shouted something else, perhaps far less family friendly, when you discovered that the tiny tumbler was having its coming out a full year before anyone here could buy it.
Long leads are the vaporware of the automotive industry. I remember being at an earlier LA Auto Show and seeing the Renault Alpine there on display, resplendent in its fully Federalized form. I’m still waiting for that car to show up.
Are long leads an annoying tease by automakers to keep you on the hook for six months or a year for something that may or may not even be as was initially presented? Or, would you prefer for car makers to keep it it under wraps until at most a month before you could actually plunk down your do-ray-me?  What do you think, should long leads be long in our past?
Image: Ford Motor Company

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16 responses to “Hooniverse Asks: Do You Hate Long Leads on Cars?”

  1. Kiefmo Avatar

    Meh. I don’t generally buy new cars, anyway, so it’s no skin off’a mah tater.

  2. Tiberiuswise Avatar

    I think that about a year is ideal. Most people don’t mind delaying a purchase if they know what their options will be the same time next year. Anything less seems disingenuous.

  3. GTXcellent Avatar

    It depends if I’m in the market or not.
    Prior to purchasing the SS, we’d been contemplating a daily replacement to the Saab for awhile. Jeep showed the world the Renegade. A small SUV that can be had with a manual transmission? Intriguing – hmmm, that might just be what we’re looking for. So we wait to see and drive one. And wait. And wait. Finally one shows up to look at. We waited a loooong time to be disappointed.
    So yeah, don’t tease. It isn’t nice.

  4. crank_case Avatar

    It can be annoying, but also handy for negotiating a good price on a soon to be replaced model.

  5. 0A5599 Avatar

    Bob Einstein is still waiting for his NSX.

  6. Sjalabais Avatar

    Still waiting for that one to come over…oh.

  7. Maymar Avatar

    Ultimately, it’s just more trying to find signal through the noise – there’s so much irrelevant data from so many manufacturers trying to get your attention about their Exciting All New Car! That it eventually becomes hard to keep paying attention. I’ve already started phasing out Dodge Demon news.
    What also doesn’t help me is that I partially work in fleet purchasing, and we often don’t really start buying something until it’s second year on the market (once the right deals start rolling in). Until I can touch it in the flesh, it’s probably irrelevant to me (and I’m not replacing my own car for at least 5 years).

  8. crank_case Avatar

    I would have thought Tesla owners would like long leads on their cars?

    1. Lokki Avatar

      Long leads for Tesla owners? Absolutely. There’s nothing a Tesla owner hates worse than a ‘short notice’.

  9. JayP Avatar

    Camaro Concept and Challenger Concept intro’d at the same time at the 2006 NAIAS.
    Challenger production starts 2007 for 2008MY
    Camaro production starts 2009 for 2010MY
    The Camaro tease seemed to take forever… and it did when compared to the Challenger.

    1. dukeisduke Avatar

      And by the time the Camaro actually hit the dealerships, it was met with a resounding yawn. How not to tease a car. Also see the DEW98 Ford Thunderbird.

  10. mdharrell Avatar

    “What do you think, should long leads be long in our past?”
    Absolutely. I prefer several decades of lead time, all of them either long in my past or, even better, earlier than my past, before a vehicle becomes available to me.

  11. JohnComposMentis Avatar

    It would be especially annoying if the long lead time were followed by another year or so of “additional dealer mark-up” or whatever they’re calling it now.

  12. Desmo Avatar

    VW has a minibus concept car that they pour out regularly since 1998, albeit with a few changes. It´s the Duke Nukem of the car world.

    1. Vairship Avatar

      And the weird thing is, all they had to do was re-body the T6 Transporter. And instead they gave us the Routan, a bastardized Dodge?

  13. Harry Callahan Avatar
    Harry Callahan

    Honda played a 7 year lead game with NSX. Ford played a 2 second lead game with GT.
    GT was the ONLY automotive news for weeks, while NSX produced lots of “meh” for nearly a decade. Pretty sure Ford got more right.