Back in February, Ford Motor Company launched Ford Blue Advantage – an online marketplace for certified used Ford vehicles. Since then, the new service, powered by Autotrader, has proven to be incredibly helpful for Blue Oval dealers struggling to obtain new vehicle inventory because of the ongoing global semiconductor chip shortage.
Used car sales at Power Ford in Albuquerque, New Mexico are up 19 percent this year and 26 percent since Ford Blue Advantage launched. “Today’s buyers are looking for a transparent, worry-free buying experience,” Power Ford general manager, Rob Sneed, told Automotive News. “Our ability to provide high-quality, highly reconditioned vehicles that come with the assurance of a warranty is precisely the point of separation Ford dealers need to be competitive in today’s used vehicle market.”
So far, around 1,500 Blue Oval dealers have signed up to use Ford Blue Advantage, which is three times the number that typically sell certified used vehicles. As Ford Authority explained 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 enjoy explosive growth thanks to benefits such as guaranteed pricing, home delivery, and a vehicle return policy.
Customers are able to search vehicle inventory from across the U.S. and transition seamlessly from the research to the purchase phase. The site couples Autotrader’s interface with Kelly Blue Book’s Price Advisor tool and is comprised of mostly “Gold” or “Blue” certified inventory. Gold vehicles are up to six years old with less than 80,000 miles, while Blue vehicles are 10 years old or less with fewer than 120,000 miles.
With some experts worried that the chip shortage could last for years, resulting in production cuts of two to three million vehicles in 2021 alone, Ford Blue Advantage could prove to be a veritable lifesaver for dealers in the coming months.