Ford is taking the big step to launch a huge used car online site in 2021. Called Ford Blue Advantage, it is an effort to help dealers increase used car sales. This is the first time an auto manufacturer has attempted to corral used cars to help its car dealership network.
Over 8,000 Ford dealers were presented with Ford’s plans in a virtual meeting that replace the traditional annual meetings held in Las Vegas. “We believe from day one it will be the largest source of used Fords by far,” Mark LaNeve, Ford’s director of U.S. marketing, sales, and service, said on a call to reporters. “If you want a 2015 Mustang convertible in canary yellow, we can probably find it.”
The online site will feature guaranteed pricing, delivery, and a new certified pre-owned program
The site will feature guaranteed pricing and delivery along with a new certified pre-owned program. It will also link all of Ford’s dealer inventories according to Ford. Three million used Ford vehicles are sold in any given year but only one-third of these sales are part of these sales.
“We think using digital technology and the scale of our dealers, we’re going to capture a greater share of that business,” LaNeve said. “The used-car part of the business is critically important to our dealers. It’s a huge source of their profitability.”
Other initiatives aimed at capturing more sales were laid out. “The main message is: We’re headed into growth mode,” LaNeve said. Presentations were given about Ford’s future commercial vehicle releases and how Ford will capitalize on expanding its accessories business. Commercial sales amount to over 30% of Ford’s sales volumes in the US. Ford is pushing dealers to increase its commercial fleet sales and service to conquer this segment.
“This is the year Ford has been building toward”
“We know 2021 is going to be a significant year for our North American business and our dealers,” said LaNeve. “We are going to grow in 2021. This is the year we have been building toward.” With the sales of Bronco, Bronco Sport, Mustang Mach-E, and possibly a new Ranger pickup, coming in 2021 Ford expects to outsell its entire former sedan offerings. Deliveries of its all-electric Mach-E will begin next month.
Ford will also be adding three different membership tiers to its popular FordPass Rewards customer loyalty program. Members score points toward maintenance, roadside assistance, and other perks with the special-issue Visa credit card. It found that allowing participants to “climb the ladder” in loyalty and adding points increased the card’s use.