Godfrey, who joined Blue Advantage as soon as it was announced, credits the jump in sales to Ford’s introduction 14-day money back guaranteewhich the automaker added to the program earlier this year.
“When you’re buying a used car, a CPO is generally valuable because you have that inspection and even if something was missed, you have the warranty,” he said. “But some consumers still feel the fear of the unknown when buying a used car. Knowing that if you take it home and find something you don’t like … and you can put it back, it gives people a little more comfort. If they’re looking for multiple locations, this could be what seals the deal for them.”
Ford launched Blue Advantage in 2020 to help retailers win a bigger slice of used car sales and reduce third-party sales.
The program is powered by Autotrader and brings together a certified list of used cars from dealers across the country. Customers can search by car type, color, mileage and other variables.
The site features guaranteed prices and Kelley Blue Book’s Price Advisor tool. The listed inventory, which includes cars from other manufacturers, is guaranteed by two levels of certification: gold and blue.
Although the automaker previously had a CPO program, the Blue Advantage features have helped give customers and dealers more peace of mind in the sales process, according to Andrew Ashman, Ford’s U.S. pre-owned sales manager.
“The rebranding really had a big impact,” he said. “Now dealers feel like the company is really behind the program.”
Darin Wade, president of Rich Ford in Albuquerque, New Mexico, says his shop sells more than 100 CPO vehicles a month and that sales are up about 20 percent this year compared to 2021.
He said he liked Ford’s decision to include third-party vehicles and that his store gets a certification for every used car that meets the requirements because there is so much demand.
“The competitive advantage is the dealers who certify them, they will show up in search when others don’t,” he said. “I think it helps get more leads.”
Ashman says he hopes to increase the number of dealers participating in the program to at least 2,000 by convincing more retailers of all market sizes to sign up.
“Dealers love it,” he said. “There’s still a lot of potential in this program. We just need to get in and convince more dealers that it’s the right thing to do.”