Ford Blue Advantage, FoMoCo’s online marketplace for certified used Ford vehicles, is live. The new site, which is powered by Autotrader, actually went live earlier this month, but Ford officially launched the site today as part of NADA 2021, an auto industry trade show for dealers. As Ford Authority explained late last year, the platform is designed to help dealers better compete against competitors like CarMax by offering many of the same benefits that have helped those retailers grow considerably over the last several years thanks to benefits such as guaranteed pricing, home delivery, and a vehicle return policy.
The overall aesthetic and core functionality of Ford Blue Advantage mirrors that of the standard Autotrader experience, and allows the platform to utilize the Kelley Blue Book Price Advisor Tool, which informs shoppers if a particular listing is priced competitively. All vehicles listed on the site also boast dealer-guaranteed pricing, meaning customers won’t be in for a rude awakening at the time of purchase.
Flexibility is key to the digital platform as well, with the tool offering car shoppers advanced search capabilities that enable them to filter results not only by desired feature level, but also additional services like at-home test drive, home delivery, and video walkaround.
“We can now connect the right shopper to the right pre-owned Ford vehicle faster than ever,” says Andrew Frick, vice president, U.S. marketing in a prepared statement. “Providing a great digital experience is paramount today, but we know customers still want to touch, smell and feel a vehicle before they buy it. Ford Blue Advantage offers the best of both worlds, enabling customers to shop online or come into a dealership, or a combination of both.”
In addition to making Ford Blue Advantage a one-stop shop for Ford-branded certified used vehicles, Ford is launching a new four-day, 200 mile return policy for certain vehicles listed on the site. Although not as generous as the Carmax 30-day/1500 mile return policy, it allows Ford dealers to compete more effectively against the used car retailer.
The launch of the new platform coincides with changes to Ford’s pre-owned vehicle certification process, which now boasts two levels: Gold Certified and Blue Certified. Gold Certified vehicles offer the same benefits and warranties that the company previously offered under its Certified Pre-Owned program, while the all-new Blue Certified level extends to vehicles up to ten years old, which means Ford has essentially added a new tier to its certified used vehicle program that allows older vehicles. Prior to this change, only vehicle six years and newer qualified for certification. All vehicles listed on Ford Blue Advantage will be either Gold Certified or Blue Certified.
According to Ford, there were 3 million used Ford vehicles sold in 2019, but Ford dealers only represented about one-third of that figure. FoMoCo is counting on Ford Blue Advantage to improve on that percentage. The company says that over half of all U.S. dealers have already signed on to the program, and that it’s already responsible for boosting used car sales at participating dealers.