DETROIT — Ford Motor Co. by year end will launch a new online used-vehicle platform and brand called Ford Blue Advantage in a bid to give its dealers a larger slice of the used-vehicle sales pie.
Executives detailed the plans to some 8,000 dealership employees during a three-day virtual meeting. The video format, which included presentations by Executive Chairman Bill Ford, CEO Jim Farley and other top officials, replaced the typical annual meeting that would have taken place in Las Vegas in September.
The used-car platform was among the newest initiatives dealers learned about through prerecorded messages and live sessions.
“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 with reporters. “If you want a 2015 Mustang convertible in canary yellow, we can probably find it.”
He said the site will link all 3,100 dealers’ used inventory and feature guaranteed pricing and delivery. It also will have a “new certified pre-owned product,” LaNeve said, though he declined to provide further details.
LaNeve said the automaker is launching its own brand because roughly 3 million used Fords are sold each year, with Ford dealers accounting for roughly one-third of those transactions. Ford executives would like to see that proportion rise.
“We think using digital technology and the scale of our dealers, we’re going to capture a greater share of that business,” he said. “The used car part of the business is critically important to our dealers. It’s a huge source of their profitability.”
In addition to announcing the new used-vehicle platform, Ford officials gave dealers information about upcoming products, commercial vehicle plans and the company’s growing accessories business.
Ford also told dealers it would expand its FordPass Rewards program by creating three different membership tiers.
“The main message is: We’re headed into growth mode,” LaNeve said.