Ford has unveiled a new vision to make discovering, testing, buying and owning its products not only simpler, but also more satisfying – starting with Ford electric vehicles (EVs).
The company, in partnership with its retail partners across Europe, is entirely reimagining the customer journey to EV ownership, with online access and touchpoints available every step of the way.
The new approach introduces online showrooms and virtual test drives for exploring products and services from the comfort of the sofa or during a 10-minute break between meetings. Big decisions will be easier to make with transparent pricing for no surprises. And customers will be able to personalise their vehicle handover, access charging, and arrange pick-up and delivery for servicing with a few clicks on their smartphone.
Ford today outlined its innovative new strategy at the Bring On Tomorrow Live event in Copenhagen, Denmark, to its retail partners from across Europe who will be fundamental to delivering next-generation customer experiences. The company is on track to deliver 10 new electric models in Europe by 2024, including the new E-Tourneo Courier 1 multi-activity vehicle unveiled today in Copenhagen.
“We’re well on the way to becoming an electric passenger car brand by 2030, with a uniquely comprehensive line-up of vehicles already introduced and inspired by an understanding that EV customers see the world differently,” said Martin Sander, general manager, Ford Model e, Europe. “Our vision is to make it easier and more appealing than ever for customers to discover, buy and own the right electric vehicle for them, whether switching to electric for the first time or already an experienced owner.”
By making it easier for greater numbers of customers to go electric, Ford's new customer experience will support the company's commitments to achieving carbon neutrality for its European operations, logistics and direct suppliers by 2035, and building a more sustainable, inclusive and equitable transportation future.
The new generation of consumers has a fresh attitude to car buying – inspired by online shopping experiences and as progressive as the vehicles they want to own. Research shows 91 per cent of customers prefer buying online if the process is seamless. 2
Ford will let customers slide effortlessly between digital and real-world touchpoints as best suits them. That could mean completing entire purchases in just a few clicks using Ford official online channels and showrooms, visiting dealerships and Ford Stores for information and updates from product experts, or a combination of both.
An innovative virtual experience for the new all-electric Ford Explorer *1 brought test drives into the digital age earlier this year. Customers will also be able to go online to book real-world test drives around their busy schedules when the adventure-ready crossover arrives in showrooms later this year. Vehicles can be delivered to them, charged for a minimum 150 km/100 miles.
Research also shows 77 per cent of car-buyers prefer fixed prices,*2 so that they know upfront how much they will pay, and for what. That’s why Ford is already making haggling a thing of the past for customers in the Netherlands with transparent pricing. The company plans to roll out the “agency model” across Europe – ensuring that customers get a consistent price whether they shop online or at the store of their choice.
Ford is also tackling the single most frustrating factor for car-buyers according to the New Car Buyers Survey – uncertainty about when their new car will arrive. Clear communication, online visibility of the order status, and the ability to book delivery slots online will help customers plan ahead and put time back in their diaries.
So will the option to advise their Ford-certified expert dealers on which specifics they want to learn more about when their vehicle is handed over. That will make it easier for drivers take to the road with maximum confidence whether experienced EV owners or new converts… and whether setting off from the retailer’s forecourt or their own driveway. Customers will be able to arrange delivery to them – an option of interest to 69 per cent of younger car-buyers.*3
Every new vehicle will arrive loaded with the latest available software packages, which can be improved with over-the-air updates. Drivers will enjoy the latest technologies from Ford, such as BlueCruise that enables hands-off, eyes-on driving – the first of this kind service approved in Europe, *4 and systems that can wirelessly integrate smartphone functionalities.*5
The new Ford customer experience is designed to continue making life easier for owners even after purchase. Ongoing support includes access to one of Europe’s largest charging networks, with more than 450,000 chargers, growing to 500,000 by 2024, at-home charging solutions, as well as pick-up and delivery for servicing that can be scheduled online, with ultra-convenient fast-track options.
“Ford’s commitment is to treat customers like family. That means understanding what they need from us to help them live their best lives and then pulling out all the stops to make it happen,” Sander said. “Our network of retail partners across Europe is key to transforming the Ford buying and owning experience – building on the relationships and reputations formed over decades and backed by a new generation of digital tools and forward thinking.”
*1 Officially homologated driving range and energy consumption values will be published closer to on-sale date.
*3 Accenture – The future of automotive sales, 2020.
*4 Ford BlueCruise is a hands-free highway driving feature. Only remove hands from the steering wheel when in a Hands-Free Blue Zone. Always watch the road and be prepared to resume control of the vehicle. It does not replace safe driving. See Owner's Manual for details and limitations. [The BlueCruise Prep Kit contains the hardware required for this feature.] Requires purchased BlueCruise subscription to cover data usage, regular map updates and feature improvements. To use BlueCruise you will need to activate your Mustang Mach-E using the FordPass App. Approved for use in Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales) only.
*5 Requires phone with active data service and compatible software. SYNC 4/4A/Move does not control 3rd party products while in use. 3rd parties are solely responsible for their respective functionality.