Ford launches pilot site to buy used cars online

Ford logo in their auto plant

Ford Motor’s in-house start-up incubator is bringing a Metro Detroit pilot program that would make it simpler for possible buyers to discover used vehicles on Ford dealer lots.

This Find Your Ford online platform at www.ford.com/used/ presents pulls inventory from six dealerships in the Metro Detroit region into a database that the system’s creators Arnold Kadiu and Leda Daehler stated makes it simpler to discover specific makes and models of used Ford automobiles.

“There’s a lot of pain points in that experience,” Kadiu stated. “We realized there’s a lot of potential for the move into this space. We’re used to buying things on Amazon.”

The duo, supported by Ford X, the company’s in-house startup business incubator, aims to bring the approximately 100,000 used Ford vehicles presently on U.S. dealer lots onto one website. The move could assist Ford capitalize on what experts expect to be a robust used-vehicle market starting 2019 as off-lease vehicles return to dealer lots after years of record new-vehicle sales.

Online car shopping isn’t a recent idea. Ford dealerships across the country have websites populated with new and used vehicles. Rivals such as Carvana allow people to purchase vehicles online.

Cox Automotive data reveals a record 4.1 million vehicles are going to come off-lease in this year. Many of those will go back onto the market as used vehicles, according to Michelle Krebs, industry analyst with Cox Automotive. In 2017, Cox Automotive discovered 51 percent of car purchasers shopped new and used vehicles.

As new-vehicle prices and interest rates is still rising, Krebs stated she expects the number of used vehicle buyers to boost over the next couple years.

Kadiu and Daehler teamed up after they themselves had hard time in searching vehicles. Kadiu, who earlier worked on Ford’s autonomous and electric vehicle teams before moving to run Find Your Ford full-time, aimed to discover a long-bed, crew-cab F-150 with two-wheel drive and adaptive cruise-control when he first started at the automaker. It took too long, he stated.

They plan to bring more dealers’ inventories into the website in 2019.

“There’s been a lot of push internally to focus on the customer, ” Daehler stated. “We’re really aligned with all of that.”

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