My husband sells Fords in a small town. All of the following information is about Fords, but I imagine it largely applies other manufacturers. Someone said that only certain cars and models are included, which is true. Only 2005 models carry employee pricing, and Mustangs and hybrid Escapes are excluded. Sorry, you cannot order a 2006 Mustang GT with employee pricing.
Also, “employee pricing” refers to employees of dealerships, etc. (X or Z or D plan; I can’t remember), which has never been the rock bottom deal that A plan pricing for manufacturing employees is. And it’s not “pay what we pay” – they always make something off a sale, even to employees.
Are there good deals to be had? Certainly. Is every car on employee pricing the most awesome best deal ever? No. Before this new gig, most 2005 models (excluding very hot sellers) had rebates on them – sometimes $5-6K. With employee pricing, those rebates are history. On a lower-end model that doesn’t cost as much in the first place, you will probably pay more with employee pricing than you would have with rebates. However, if you are in the market for a higher-end trim level on a more expensive vehicle, you can save quite a bit.
Personally, I hope this goes away as soon as possible – it’s stressing my husband out. While more people are coming through, they tend to have inflated expectations – like getting a new 2006 Mustang for $200 a month with no money down. They are ticked when they find this is impossible, and since they can’t yell at anyone else, they yell at the salesman, whose fault it (really!) is not. And then they find out what they will get for their trade (the market for which has tanked, since the perception is that new is even cheaper than used), and they really yell. It stinks.
YMMV, of course.