We’ve known for some time that the race to catch up and overtake Tesla is accelerating. Now, Jim Farley, Ford’s CEO, has revealed a bit more about his plan for that race, and selling cars online is a big piece of the puzzle. He wants to make sure that no matter where you buy a Ford, it’s a predictable experience, even if you’re wearing ‘bunny slippers’.
That predictable experience is one that Ford is highly focused on. Over the past few months, we have shed light on one story after another of various brands of dealers duping customers in an attempt to take advantage of the market. Ford, for its part, has actively responded to that criticism with action.
During an investor call last week, Farley specifically said that customers “should have a very predictable experience, whether they’re at the dealership or in the slippers they’ve made, and they should have a very simple, transparent, very easy to use experience.” There will be a procurement process.” He hopes to streamline the process but without completely cutting out the dealer.
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The response came into a question about how dealers are experiencing gross margins that have more than tripled and if Ford sees an opportunity to keep more of that cash for itself in the future. Farley sees online sales as a way to not only keep customers happy, but also to deduct some of the ancillary costs of shipping a car to a dealer before it eventually ends up in a customer’s hands. .
He says Ford should go into “low inventory mode,” where “the customer orders a vehicle, and then we ship the vehicle to the customer.” If the blue oval brand can pull off that move, Farley thinks it could save somewhere between $600 and $700 per car.
Considering the fact that Farley wants Ford to build some 2 million EVs by the year 2026, that’s a lot of extra cash on the bottom line. Additionally, it wouldn’t be a stretch to say that if the move proves successful, Ford won’t even change the way it sells gas-powered models.