In an era in which the priorities of the factory and the dealer body aren’t always aligned, the Ford Blue Advantage used-vehicle sales platform is an example of what can happen when both sides are on the same page.
Ford’s dealer council, on behalf of the brand’s 3,000 U.S. stores, started lobbying the automaker to beef up its used-vehicle presence in 2019.
While it would have been easy for Ford to dismiss those concerns and focus solely on its goal of giving retailers the industry’s freshest new-vehicle lineup with models including the Mustang Mach-E and Bronco, the automaker saw a mutually beneficial opportunity to grow its certified pre-owned offerings.
The attractive digital retail tool that showcases dealer inventory and boosts the pool of vehicles that fall under its certification programs is helping Ford and its dealers capture customers who would otherwise spend their money with competitors such as Carvana. It could also help Ford reestablish itself among entry-level buyers after the automaker discontinued its low-priced Fiesta and Focus sedans.
By partnering with Autotrader and integrating Kelley Blue Book’s Price Advisor tool, Ford has given its dealers a type of digital retail tool that can help them stand out in an increasingly competitive and quick-changing used-vehicle landscape.
“It shows that when dealers speak up, Ford’s listening,” Matt Sneed, director of marketing and customer experience at Power Ford in Albuquerque, N.M., told me. “It was at the top of the list of what dealers wanted and Ford really came to the table with a refocus and recommitment to its old CPO program.”