Today on CBT News, Andrew Ashman joins the show to discuss the importance of the used-vehicle market. Ashman serves as the U.S. Used Vehicle Manager of Ford Motor Company. During his interview with CBT host Jim Fitzpatrick, Ashman shares insight on Ford’s recently launched, “Ford Blue Advantage,” the company’s all-new used-vehicle digital marketplace. Ashman takes time to dive into the platform’s capabilities and how it is changing the used-car-buying experience.
Ashman begins the conversation by discussing the background of Blue Advantage and why Ford felt the need to adapt its pre-owned shopping experience. Around a year ago, the company came together to discuss outsiders that were entering the used-vehicle market that were beginning to threaten Ford’s used-car business. In 2020, Ford sold one-third of all used Fords that were 10 model years or newer. Dealers recognize that consumers have more options for buying cars, leading Ford to adapt to meet the specific needs of consumers.
Ashman then goes into the marketing strategy behind the new product. He says this process begins with the Blue Advantage website experience. A differentiating factor of the website is that all vehicles are certified. Ford plans to completely change the certified pre-owned experience. The company will now offer both Gold Certified and Blue Certified vehicles on the website.
Ford dealers are allowed to opt-out of the program if they decide Blue Advantage doesn’t fit their business model. According to Ashman, 1,500 Ford dealers are currently involved in the program. He says that the company expects more dealers to sign up after they see the success of dealers who are already on board.
Ashman concludes the conversation by talking about online used-retailers such as Vroom and Carvana who have changed the way consumers buy used-vehicles. Dealers must be prepared to have a fully virtual experience to meet the needs of customers who aren’t interested in visiting the dealership. Dealers who dismiss digital retailing will quickly fall behind if they aren’t willing to adapt to the current climate in retail automotive. Ashman says that Carvana and Vroom are just forcing dealers to “up their game,” and he expects dealers to respond in a positive way.