Last year, Ford handpicked 500 applicants out of a pool of about 7,000 to purchase the company’s new GT. Some of those chosen were high-profile clients, such as John Cena. The superstar wrestler, like other celebrities, was chosen as a marketing gimmick to help show off how cool the car is. Of course, that message is undercut a bit when one of those very expensive supercars is then sold for a profit.
Unfortunately, that’s exactly what Cena did. He received the car on September 23, 2017, and sold it less than a month later, on October 20. Automakers have several means of discouraging this practice. The first is that these people probably won’t be chosen to buy any more such cars anytime soon. In some cases, though, the company requires the buyer to sign a contract stating that they won’t sell the car for a certain period of time. In Cena’s case, the contract stated that he had to keep it for two years which, of course, he did not do.
“By signing this Order Confirmation Form you are verifying the following: … (B) You understand that being selected for the opportunity to purchase this vehicle is non-transferable and agree not to sell the vehicle within the first 24 months of delivery,” the agreement reads.
Cena later confirmed in a phone conversation with Ford that he had sold the car, and promised to work with the company to make things right. However, Ford says he has not done so and they are now suing Cena for damages.
“Mr. Cena has unfairly made a large profit from the unauthorized resale flip of the vehicle, and Ford has suffered additional damages and losses, including, but not limited to, loss of brand value, ambassador activity, and customer goodwill due to the improper sale,” the lawsuit reads.
Cena’s initial review of the car was positive, but Ford alleges that Cena’s sale of the car damaged the company’s reputation. The suit also alleges that Cena sold the car, along with some other property, to help pay off his bills.
For now, it remains unclear how this case will turn out, but we doubt Cena will be allowed to buy any more exclusive Ford vehicles for awhile.