Dealerships

Ford partners with Cox Automotive to launch new certified used vehicle digital marketplace

Ford's new certification program brings a new level of scrutiny to used vehicles.

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company, its dealers, and Cox Automotive are partnering to create a new, digital used car marketplace. Ford Blue Advantage allows dealers to list and sell certified used vehicles on a single platform, backed by a Ford warranty. Cox Automotive's Autotrader and Kelley Blue Book brands had hands in developing and populating content on the site.

The online marketplace, which features familiar Autotrader styling, allows users to filter vehicles by location, Ford Vehicle Exchange Program eligibility, dealer home services (including test drive at home), price, vehicle history (no accidents, single owner), year, mileage, make, body style, drive type, fuel type, fuel economy, transmission, cylinders, exterior color, interior color, features, doors, and price rating.

The new online marketplace features technology by Autotrader and a familiar design.Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

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"We can now connect the right shopper to the right pre-owned Ford vehicle faster than ever," said Andrew Frick, vice president, U.S. marketing. "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."

The Ford Blue Advantage site features Kelley Blue Book Price Advisor to signify if a vehicle has a Good or Great price. Visitors are also able to see a vehicle's original window sticker.

"At Cox Automotive, we believe that the automotive industry thrives when dealers, consumers and manufacturers are completely connected," said Jessica Stafford, senior vice president, Autotrader and Kelley Blue Book. "This philosophy drove us to engineer a uniquely integrated platform for Ford dealers to help simplify, streamline and personalize the car-buying experience for consumers and drive more value."

More than half of Ford's dealerships are currently enrolled in the program.

All vehicles listed on the platform have undergone an inspection by Ford factory-trained technicians. Participating dealers are able to certify vehicles under two different levels, Gold Certified and Blue Certified, covering up to 90 percent of their used-vehicle inventory.

Gold Certified vehicles have passed a 172-point inspection and come with a 12-month/12,000-mile Comprehensive Limited Warranty and a seven-year/100,000-mile Powertrain Limited Warranty. Dealers can certify Ford vehicles up to six years old that have less than 80,000 miles on the odometer as Gold Certified.

Older, Blue Certified vehicles pass a 139-point inspection and come with 90-day/4,000-mile Comprehensive Limited Warranty coverage. Blue Certified models are less than 10 years old and have fewer than 120,000 miles on them. Ford and non-Ford vehicles are eligible for this certification.

Ford promises to run a Carfax Vehicle History Report on every Blue and Gold Certified used vehicle to identify any issues that might not be detected during the inspection.

Gold and Blue Certified vehicles are sold with 24/7 roadside assistance and complimentary FordPass Rewards Points (11,000 points for Blue Certified and 22,000 for Gold Certified) that can be used for future service visits at Ford dealerships. FordPass is the automaker's mobile app. The Rewards Points program allows users to earn rewards by visiting their dealership for service, purchasing a vehicle, and other purchases.

Ford isn't the only automaker making an online sales shift for certified used cars. Honda and Acura recently launched similar sites.

Ford Blue Advantage can be found at FordBlueAdvantage.com.

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The Bronco will get two new colors for 2022.

Ford

The new Ford Bronco was in such high demand that buyers were in for a long wait, even before the pandemic and microchip shortages wreaked havoc on automotive supply chains and production. Even now, with little hope of a speedy vehicle delivery, buyers are still lining up to get the new SUV, and to reward those whose dreams will have to wait until 2022, Ford is debuting two new colors: Eruption Green and Hot Pepper Metallic.


2022 Ford Bronco Eruption Green and Hot Pepper Metallic will be available. Ford


Ford revealed the colors at this year's Woodward Dream Cruise. The first-generation Bronco, which ran from 1966 through 1977, was the featured vehicle at the cruise, which presented the opportunity to introduce new colors for the upcoming model year. The two new colors won't join the Bronco's existing color catalog until order banks open for the new model year later in 2021. Ford says that the current color catalog which includes Antimatter Blue, Lightning Blue Metallic, and Rapid Red Metallic will be available through the end of the 2021 model year.


2022 Ford Bronco Many Bronco buyers will have to wait until 2022 to get their new SUV.Ford


The new colors may end up being the shades of choice for many current hopeful Bronco buyers. Along with pandemic-related delays, Ford's rollout of the new Bronco has been plagued by hardtop-related cosmetic issues. The problem is big enough for the automaker to replace the top of every hardtop Bronco built so far. This includes vehicles already purchased, the rare few sitting on dealers' lots, and even recently produced vehicles still hanging around the factory. Buyers still waiting for their Broncos to be built will be waiting a while, to the point that Ford says many orders will be pushed into the new model year. Ford is offering Bronco-related merchandise and promises a price lock for all buyers whose orders have been pushed, and now it appears they'll have two new colors to choose from as well.

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Three two-women teams will compete in a new Bronco or Bronco Sport.

Ford

As the pandemic ramped up last summer, auto event organizers were canceling left and right to avoid gathering groups of people to spread the virus. A few events went on, especially outdoor racing events such as the Rebelle Rally. The all-woman off-road event covers desert terrain in Nevada and California, and this year Ford Motor Company is sending three teams to compete in different versions of the Bronco and Bronco Sport SUVs.

All three teams will compete in some sort of Bronco SUV. Shelby Hall and Penny Dale, who drive a Bronco Sport in last year's Rebelle Rally, return to the competition in 2021, this time with a Bronco two-door. Pro off-roaders Melissa Fischer and Cora Jokinen will pilot a Bronco Sport in the X-cross class and novice racers Kathryn Reinhardt and Victoria Bundrant from accessory supplier 4Wheel Parts will drive a four-door Bronco in the 4x4 class.


2021 Rebelle Rally Two Broncos and a Bronco Sport will compete. Ford


The Bronco Sport and Bronco four-door are both Badlands models. The two-door Bronco is a Wildtrak model. All of the SUVs have been decked out in special Bronco 4600-inspired race livery. The two-door Bronco will enter the competition equipped with the Sasquatch package, but will otherwise retain is factory stock configuration. The Bronco Sport will also remain stock, other than having its back seat removed. Ford says the 4Wheel Parts team will accessorize the four-door Bronco.

The Rebelle Rally is the first women's off-road navigation rally in the United States. Teams are not allowed to use electronic maps, such as in-dash navigation or mapping tools built into smartphones. Ford says its teams will disable the features in the Broncos they'll be driving in the event.


2021 Rebelle Rally The Bronco Sport will remain stock, but will have its back seats removed.Ford

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