As we’ve covered extensively in recent months, Ford fans have a lot to look forward to in 2021. That includes a host of new models like the 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E, 2021 Ford F-150, 2021 Ford Bronco, and 2021 Ford Bronco Sport, as well as a number of expanded services and hundreds of new accessories. But perhaps more importantly, the automaker believes all of these things will drive tremendous growth over the next year or so.
Ford recently parlayed this message at its annual dealer meeting, a three-day Built For America-themed event that was attended by roughly 8,000 dealer staff. The meeting is an annual platform for Ford leadership to share future products, initiatives, and strategies, and to interact with dealers. The meeting is open to all 3,100 Ford and Lincoln dealers in the U.S.
“We know 2021 is going to be a significant year for our North American business and our dealers,” said Mark LaNeve, vice president, U.S. Marketing, Sales and Service. “We are going to grow in 2021. This is the year we have been building toward.”
In addition to the aforementioned new models, Ford also revealed that it will be launching a not-yet-named vehicle that will fill a whitespace in the market. By this time next year, Ford expects these four new nameplates will outsell its entire previous sedan portfolio.
Aside from the new models, Ford is also launching an all-new used vehicle platform and brand, Ford Blue Advantage, as a digital marketplace aimed at maximizing use of digital technology and the scale of its 3,100 dealers. The automaker will share more details about the new program in the first quarter of 2021.
Ford also recently benchmarked its FordPass Rewards program against other best-in-class loyalty programs and found that a common element of the top engagement programs was the separation of customer rewards into tiers. Research determined that enabling customers to climb the ladder of a loyalty program and earn greater rewards had a significant impact on their engagement, satisfaction, and loyalty.
Now FordPass Rewards is preparing to launch experiential tiers with three membership levels. Members will be able to earn their tier level by buying and servicing their vehicle, purchasing accessories, or by having a FordPass Rewards Visa card in their wallets.
Meanwhile, Ford is encouraging dealers to grow its share of the $9 billion-per-year fleet service business and enhancing its commercial vehicle organization with Ford Commercial Solutions, which will introduce dealers to a new suite of software products designed specifically for commercial customers.
Finally, Ford is rolling out a slew of parts and accessories in the coming year, including 149 products for the Bronco Sport, and more than 200 accessories will be ready to go when the Bronco two- and four-door models arrive next year.
Now Ford is preparing to launch dealer-installed options for all 2021 model year vehicles. As plant complexity decreases, these options give dealers the opportunity to add accessories to vehicles they order for inventory. Options will appear on the window sticker and the accessories will be delivered to the dealer for installation on location.
“For the rest of our lives, we can look back on 2020 and know that no matter what got thrown at us, we worked together to overcome it and we succeeded – together,” LaNeve said. “Next year also will challenge us, but seriously, after this year I’m confident there is nothing we can’t do.”