Has Ford Found a Subscription Model That Actually Works?
Subscription-based services in the automotive industry have gained attention in recent years as an alternative to traditional car ownership. These models offer customers the ability to pay a recurring fee for access to a vehicle, often including maintenance, insurance, and other services. While some automakers have introduced subscription services, their success, and reception have varied.
Ford Pro, which primarily targets companies and fleet cars, may have found a subscription model that works well for their specific target market. In addition, by tailoring the service to businesses, Ford may have identified unique needs and preferences that make the subscription model more appealing and financially viable for drivers.
What is included with the Ford Pro Telematics subscription?
With the subscription-based Ford Pro package, you will have access to the following features:
- The Ford Pro Telematics dashboard interface
- Planned Maintenance Tracking
- Vehicle Health Alerts
- Dealer Scheduling Capability
- Driver Behavior Insights
- Service History
- Real-Time Location and Event Tracking
- GPS Fleet Tracking and Location History
- Fuel Efficiency, Idling, and Waste
- The Ford Pro Telematics Drive App
- Non-Ford Vehicle Support
These features appear to be enticing enough to businesses, as Ford is seeing success with the Ford Pro subscription model.
Subscription revenue is up this year
As of now, Ford Pro has a 64% year-over-year increase when it comes to paid software subscriptions. According to FordAuthority.com, “Ford Pro posted an increase of 18% in wholesales and 28% in revenue – bringing the latter total up to $13.2 billion last quarter alone. The commercial division enjoyed an EBIT (earnings before interest and taxes) of $1.4 billion–roughly three times higher than 2022–and an EBIT margin of 10.3%.”
That’s fancy busniess speak for “it’s doing well”. This is unusual for a car subscription-based service, as many attempts from other automakers have proven to be controversial.
The backlash with subscription services
However, it’s worth noting that subscription models in the automotive industry have faced some criticism. In the past, certain subscription-based services offered by other automakers were met with backlash due to high costs, limited flexibility, and a lack of transparency. Consumers also expressed concerns about the long-term affordability and value proposition of these services.
To ensure the success of a subscription model, it is important for automakers to carefully consider pricing, service flexibility, and clear communication of what is included.
By focusing on the needs of companies and fleet customers, Ford Pro might have a better chance of creating a subscription model that aligns with their requirements. This service may overcome some of the challenges faced by individual-focused subscriptions.
Are fleet subscription services the next big thing?
One advantage of offering subscriptions to companies and fleet customers is that it aligns with their operational and financial requirements. Companies often have different considerations and budgets compared to individual consumers, making a subscription model potentially more attractive to them.
The bundled services, including maintenance and other fleet management solutions, can offer added value and convenience.