Why Suing John Cena Is A Bad Idea For Ford

If you’ve been keeping attune with automotive news in the past week, you’ll know that the biggest story relating to Ford is the carmaker’s decision to sue John Cena. Ford may live to regret this.

Ford alleges that the wrestler-turned-Hollywood-star illegally sold his 2017 Ford GT after just one month of ownership, directly violating a contract signed by Cena agreeing to not sell the desirable supercar within 24 months of delivery.

If all of Ford’s allegations are true, it seems to be a pretty obvious breach of contract and could cost Cena dearly. In fact, Cena has even admitted to and apologized to Ford for profiting from his GT.

In response, Ford is seeking in excess of $75,000 for damages relating to brand value, ambassador activity, and customer goodwill. Additionally, it wants all the profit Cena made from the sale.

On the face of it, these demands seem rather reasonable. After all, Cena profited from a car he wasn’t supposed to sell. However, it’s likely that the whole saga will tarnish Ford’s image more than Cena actually selling the car.

From the outset, many have criticized Ford for its decision to make prospective Ford GT owners apply to own the supercar. That’s right, Ford required customers to prove to the carmaker that they were good enough to fork out roughly $500,000 on the car.

Understandably, this caused uproar across many Ford communities, particularly when it emerged that many life-long Ford enthusiasts and collectors had their applications tossed out to the trash. In their place, a number of F-grade internet ‘celebrities’ and YouTubers were offered the chance to buy the 2017 GT, largely because they had respectable social media followings.

Yes, that’s the world we live in. If you don’t have at least 500,000 Instagram followers, good luck buying a top-of-the-range Ford. Worked your whole life to afford a car like the Ford GT? Too bad. Prefer to keep your vehicles in museum-condition and admire them as art pieces rather than drive them? Too bad. Own a fleet of iconic Fords but are unwilling to bend at the knee and beg for the brand to accept your money? Too bad, Ford says.

Ford claims that 69 per cent of new GT owners have a previous-generation model. If that figure is true, we tip our hat to Ford for appreciating many of its loyal customers. However, the hoops one has to jump through to try and secure an order for the new car is utterly ridiculous. Ferrari is no different.

It remains to be seen how much Cena profited from selling his GT but it wouldn’t be excessive to guestimate somewhere in the region of $100,000. If that were the case, then Ford could stand to make roughly $175,000 from suing the wrestler, who asserts he needed to liquidate some his assets to pay bills. However, we can’t help but think the lawsuit could affect Ford’s brand image to the tune of millions. After all, just a couple of customers with Ford GTs on the way need to cancel their orders for the whole saga to cost Ford dearly.

Of course, there’s no doubt that Ford has thousands of people waiting in line to purchase one of the 1000 GTs tipped to be produced. If someone cancels their order, another applicant will get the order.

Nonetheless, does Ford want to be seen as a company that kicks a person when their down? Financial situations change and it’s not unreasonable to think Cena had the money to buy the GT two years ago but upon delivery, discovered that his money could be spent better elsewhere. In Ford’s world, that’s not acceptable. In fact, in Ford’s world, it is offensive to the brand’s legacy for a GT owner to have the audacity to think they can actually sell the car they paid $500,000 for. How dare they.

There’s no doubt that the new Ford GT is an impressive car. In fact, the carmaker was happy to announce that the GT is quicker than the McLaren 675LT and Ferrari 458 Speciale around a racetrack earlier this year, despite the McLaren being two years’ old and the Ferrari roughly four years’ old.

What’s more, by the time Ford got around to actually delivering the new supercar, the game has moved on, most notably with the McLaren 720S, Ferrari 488 GTB, and Lamborghini Huracan Performante. Curiously, Ford intends on building the GT through the 2020 model year by which time competitors to the GT will have made another significant leap in performance, possibly leaving an unchanged GT dead in the water.

Chances are, Ford will walk away from its lawsuit against John Cena feeling all high and mighty for enforcing an aspect of a contract that should never have been there in the first place. It’s a shame that it’s willing to burn bridges with enthusiasts in the process.

PHOTO GALLERY

  • BlackRock

    Jeez Ford! Don’t be such a baby

  • xDRAN0x

    A contract is a contract, but coming out publicly like this won’t help Ford also.

  • Publicity Stunt?

    Could this possibly be a publicity stunt involving both Cena and Ford? What better way for Ford to impress upon others that they are serious about how an owner resells their GTs and get GT PR? Cena is a car enthusiast and not stupid. It just doesn’t seem like something he would do.

    • Rocket

      Doesn’t seem possible. Ford is getting nothing but bad publicity. They don’t need help selling the car anyway.

  • Nordschleife

    I disagree because 1.You can sell the Ford GT when the two year keep period is over and 2. By suing him and him actually admitting it, then they may see his financial status and may drop the lawsuit. We don’t know him, he could have needed the money or he could have been trying to make a profit and didn’t think Ford was serious. Now if his financial status was fine then he’d be a liar and we all know people who lie. So sue him and if his assertions are indeed truthful then they can make an informed decision as to whether they should drop the lawsuit.

  • Six_Tymes

    “the hoops one has to jump through to try and secure an order for the new car is utterly ridiculous.”
    the only thing utterly ridiculous is this, this is just another ford and ferrari bashing artical. look at the word count, its totally over board just to spread hate. dumb post

  • lagunas3ca

    I wonder if this was the Ford GT that Justin Verlander recently revealed. Looks like it is the same color.

  • Sébastien

    So you buy a Ford, you become owner… And they still have their say in what you do with the product?!
    That’s not how ownership rules works in most countries.

    • lagunas3ca

      That’s not how contract rules work in most countries either.

    • john1168

      I think Ferrari does something similar with some of their higher end models. I see what your saying but Ford did interview and make owners sign a contract for the sale. I think after two years, owners can do what they want.

      • lagunas3ca

        If caught, Ferrari just blacklists you.

    • Alter Ego

      It’s not like he wan’t aware of this. It’s in a contract. So duh.

      • brn

        He even admitted it, right off the bat. He’s on board with the fact that he’ll be penalized. The press is creating conflict where it doesn’t exist.

  • john1168

    Ford has to sue Cena. Personally I don’t think they should but if they don’t then EVERYBODY else are going to sell and flip their GT’s and that’s what Ford wanted to avoid for various reasons.

    • rodriguez256

      Exactly

  • Frank

    Playing the i’m really dumb to manage money card will work for him. Ford should just let it go. Gotta love people with more money the brains. Too many body slams for this guys.

  • FSLIV

    So lets not hold him accountable for his actions . . there’s that privilege. SMH. He knew the provisions of the contract and he has the resources.

  • OdysseyTag

    Story doesn’t add up…

    How could have Ford given him a contract to sign when they can’t see him?

  • jsz00

    It’s a contract… this guy isn’t grateful that he applied and was selected to own one.

  • LJ

    John Cena’s finances are not Ford’s responsibility. He’s an adult and entered a completely transparent contract voluntarily.

    It’s up to Ford whether or not they want to pursue him legally, but if they choose to drop the suit, then it sets a precedent for anyone else who might decide to break that same agreement.

  • mick

    It’s a contract. If you have money troubles, the contract says that Ford has the right to buy it back. If you don’t enforce the contact, then everyone else does the same thing. Next time you do a limited edition car, speculators swoop in, knowing that Ford won’t enforce the two year sale ban. Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.

  • nellydesign

    If the argument is that Cena just realized he couldn’t afford the car and had to sell it, then why not just cancel his order before taking delivery and then allowing someone else to get one? No, he wanted to make a profit, pure and simple. Also, your fame has a time limit on it Cena. Pretty soon no one is going to see you because they won’t care to anymore. So maybe don’t spend scads of money on things you can’t afford.

    If you want to argue that Ford’s selection process was unfavorably skewed towards non-car enthusiasts who simply have an online presence, then yeah, I think there’s some common ground there.

    • donald seymour

      Well said. BUT there is a lot of word play in your statement which leads me to believe that you are a rapper.

  • TB

    Cena signed the contract…the terms sound pretty clear. I don’t see this hurting Ford in the least.

    • Rocket

      It shouldn’t, but clearly it already has. Look at the negativity here, and at other blogs.

      • TB

        Yes…that may be true…but I don’t see this particular story and the situation impacting Ford’s overall rep and sales.

  • ediotsavant

    Rules are rules.

  • javier

    Huh? The dude broke a contract and ford is watching out for itself. How could any reasonable person see this as a negative for Ford. In fact people will think of this positively as it keeps profiteering scumbag dealers and middlemen at bay. At any rate i would way more want a McLaren

  • Craig

    100% behind Ford in this. A contract is a contract. And letting it be known PUBLICLY only benefits Ford. [“We mean what we say!” I would be pissed off having to live up to the contract if someone else doesn’t – and then it’s shown not to matter any way.

  • Reading the comments here, I see the article’s author is in the minority seeing Ford as the villain; as most people here put (and just common sense), Ford has all the right reasons to sue Mr. Cena; he could have well waited to sell his GT – or if he really had that difficult financial situation, shouldn’t have bought the car in the first place knowing the rules of the purchase contract, as it’s clearly that he knew.
    Though Ford maybe the first in taking someone to court (personally, I’m not aware of any other case), it is not alone in putting rules to safeguard their high-end products’ values – and if you don’t like those rules, you can take your money somewhere else; it’s an open market and Ford will, without a doubt, find other buyers.

  • Rocket

    The contract was a mistake, suing Cena is not. With the ill-conceived contract, Ford painted themselves into a corner, and they left themselves with just two choices: Sue Cena to set an example, or let him off the hook and lose credibility with other GT owners and prospective owners. Option B might go over better with the general public, but not with the select few willing to drop a half mil on a Ford. It really is a no-win situation.

    A 2-year lease would have been a wiser move. At the end of the lease, the owner could purchase or return the car to Ford where it can be resold. That’s effectively the arrangement they have now, but without the level of control a lease offers.

  • ” biggest story”?

  • brn

    When the news first broke, Cena admitted he broke the contract and expects to be penalized. That’s good for one article. Why are there more articles? Stop trying to create conflict where it doesn’t exist.

  • MarketAndChurch

    They’re using Cena ownership of it to market the car in the first place, as he was picked over even far more die hard Ford GT fans.

  • Blanka Li

    Cena knew the contract. He should have contacted Ford FIRST. That would have given Ford a chance to work something out and probably help Cena in the process.

  • Harry_Wild

    It is Ford fault for selling the GT to Cena in the first place! Now they regret it and are suing him to make some additional profits! LOL!

  • Stephen G

    Like xDRAN0x stated earlier “A contract is a contract”. The comment about “the hoops one has to jump through to try and secure an order for the new car is utterly ridiculous” is only over shadowed by Mr Cena’s willingness to jump through those hoops. He could have bought a Kia Rio without all the red tape. It’s about supply and demand…Google it. How can this be bad for Ford? They want to make sure that an automobile enthusiast purchases and enjoys their car rather than someone just trying to make a buck. Cena is a scumbag that didn’t think twice about breaking a contract, embezzled money from someone and took the car from some one else that would have honored the contract and enjoyed the car! How much more money does this guy need? Unless of course he is donating the profits to charity that will verify that donation. How about that Cena?

  • fabri99

    Well, they could have just taken him off any waiting list for any Ford supercar ever. Much like Ferrari does for people they don’t like.

  • Auf Wiedersehen

    “Chances are, Ford will walk away from its lawsuit against John Cena feeling all high and mighty for enforcing an aspect of a contract that should never have been there in the first place.”

    A contract no one was being held hostage to sign. The shame is, a person signing a contract and feeling it ok to break that contract knowing full well they would be sued. Make no mistake, Ford is in the right here. Nothing is sacred anymore…People feel they have to consequences for their actions.

    I think the comments are overwhelmingly behind Ford and the Author of this “bit” should go back to doodling on his spiral bound notebook and let the adults write for a living.

  • Mike S

    Frank Lloyd Wright had a habit of demanding people who bought his houses never move the furniture he made for them. If owners did, and Frank found out about it, he would come to the home and put the furniture pieces where he had intended them to be located. That his chairs were massively uncomfortable is legendary, yet Frank would have his way, or else! Crazy, right? Anyway, I say a sale is a sale, but that’s just me.

  • Dariush

    the GT dead in the water? Have you seen it?!??! its gorgeous! No Ferrari, McLaren or Lambo looks like that and it doesnt need to sell on performance…

  • eye.surgeon

    This article makes zero sense. The purpose of the careful screening of customers for rare cars is to protect consumers from flippers. Otherwise, all rare cars would have to be bought by fiippers. Guys like this hurt the car collector hobby. And Ford shouldn’t enforce the contract because why? Some weird goodwill towards pseudo-celebrities that nobody cares about?

  • eye.surgeon

    This article makes zero sense. The purpose of the careful screening of customers for rare cars is to protect consumers from flippers. Otherwise, all rare cars would have to be bought by fiippers. Guys like this hurt the car collector hobby. And Ford shouldn’t enforce the contract because why? Some weird goodwill towards pseudo-celebrities that nobody cares about?

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