Dealer invoice price is publicly available on sites like kbb.com or Edmunds. The dealer should also have no problem telling you this number. The dealer invoice printout will show you AZXD plan pricing, MSRP & dealer invoice.
The dealer makes a profit even when selling you a car at dealer invoice. The dealer does not pay Ford the dealer invoice price for a car. They pay less. When dealers sell a car at invoice price they're still making money because every car has a "holdback" which on the FFH is somewhere between $500 & $1000. That is their margin even when selling at invoice price. Higher volume dealers are more likely to sell cars at invoice price because they also get volume rebates from Ford.
These numbers are purely for the purpose of illustration and are not necessarily accurate. My dealer explained this process to me because I asked about how they make profit selling at invoice (but I didn't ask this until after we had signed and paid that price for our car). He didn't tell me how much they get in volume rebates, he just said that they get volume rebates every month at their dealer. Say for example that Ford sets a target of 100 Fusions per month per dealer to get a volume rebate of $300 per car. If that dealer sells 110 Fusions in one month they would get a rebate from Ford of $33,000 or 110 x 300. That increases their margin on every Fusion by $300. This is why shopping at the end of the month is good for buying cars off the lot. The dealer might know on the 29th of the month that they need to sell 15 more Fusions to get their volume rebate so they'll sell those cars cheaper knowing that the volume rebate will make up for it.
Buying cars off the lot is more expensive because the dealer typically doesn't pay cash up front to Ford when taking delivery for their lot. They have a finance company who pays Ford and they pay a fee for every month the car goes unsold, and then they pay the full cost of the car once they have received the money from the buyer. This is another reason why they sell cheaper at the end of the month. Because every car still on their lot on the 1st of the next month costs them another fee to the finance company.
When you order a car the dealer doesn't go through the finance company but instead pays Ford cash up front which is why you can order out at a lower price.
Edited by hybridbear, 27 June 2013 - 11:31 AM.