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

Chris Teague

Chris Teague

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

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.

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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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