As ride-share fleets grow in size, Ford Motor Company wants its dealer service network to be ready for the tide of incoming vehicles requiring expedient servicing.
“When you have ride-sharing vehicles, the last thing you want is to put that in a dealership and wait four, five days to get it back, because that’s downtime,” said Ford Smart Mobility CEO Raj Rao at a connected-car conference in Detroit on Thursday. “Our view is that dealers need to provide more real-time services. They need to anticipate when your vehicle should be serviced… they need to be a lot more dynamic.”
Ford hopes to accomplish this through the use of data. The automaker has been investing in telematics in a big way over recent years, and by sharing certain data – e.g. driver schedules – with dealer service garages, those garages can get a sense of when to tend to vehicles without imposing on their normal usage cycles.
“That starts to create dynamic use of capacity for the dealer network,” the Ford Smart Mobility CEO said. “Over time, you can start building a model that predicts that.”
Importantly, it might mean garages have to start offering one-hour servicing or even overnight repairs; more than likely, that would mean higher operating costs. But Rao says those costs would be offset by the virtues of having a more efficient service network.
(Source: Automotive News)