As we speak’s business fleets wish to automakers and their sellers for not solely autos, service and financing, but additionally software program and electric-vehicle charging — all with the goal of enhancing their autos’ uptime to allow them to do the roles they’re meant to do.
The other of uptime — downtime — is the third largest value of operating a fleet, behind solely the prices of depreciation and gas, Hans Schep, basic supervisor, Ford Professional Europe at Ford Motor Co., mentioned Tuesday (March 8) on the Jefferies Spring Automotive Convention.
“That’s why it’s so necessary that we’re launching all these service capabilities with FORDLiive and Cellular Service, and so forth., and so forth., to maintain your car on the highway,” Schep mentioned.
Ford Professional is a enterprise unit inside Ford Motor Co. that focuses on the business car enterprise. Final 12 months, Ford took what it had discovered in Europe and rolled Ford Professional out globally — “mainly giving our prospects acceleration of productiveness,” Schep mentioned.
Utilizing Connectivity to Scale back Car Downtime
To scale back the issue of downtime, Ford launched FORDLiive, a service that makes use of real-time knowledge from related autos to inform the operator when service is really helpful and when the car is topic to a recall. This related service additionally helps the supplier diagnose any points sooner and order components forward of the car’s arrival within the service bay.
FORDLiive was launched in March 2021 after which rolled out in a number of European markets. It’s accessible freed from cost to all operators of Ford related business autos in these international locations.
“All our autos have modems in them since three years now, and that’s giving us great outcomes,” Schep mentioned. “So, we’ve decreased the downtime of our prospects by over 50% utilizing this.”
Integrating EV Charging right into a Fee System
One other problem for fleet operators is the transition from inner combustion engine (ICE) autos to battery electrical autos (BEVs). Schep mentioned the operators generally have many questions round the place to cost the autos, what sort of software program is out there to handle the charging and the way the charging is billed.
“There’s so many questions that we now know tips on how to reply for our prospects,” Schep mentioned. “So, ICE to BEV consultancy can also be one of many key issues that Ford Professional brings. So, it’s a incredible journey. We will wrap our arms round our buyer of their journey to electrification and preserve their productiveness going.”
To assist on that journey, Ford acquired an organization that develops particular depot charging software program that makes certain all of a fleet’s autos are charged and prepared when wanted whereas utilizing charging patterns that scale back value and don’t overload the grid.
“It’s additionally obtained an integral providing with house charging and public charging that we combine in our cost system,” Schep mentioned. “So, the whole lot you want, depending on the use case and the place your drivers stay, we will give you on the lowest value attainable, all integral and one invoice, for those who want that, to not spend any time on admin and make issues very easy.”
Specializing in Preserving Autos on the Highway
Collectively, these add as much as methods to provide fleets what they want: uptime. Schep mentioned that 5 or 6 years in the past, a high quality assembly on the Ford business autos division would have centered on lowering guarantee prices or different prices. As we speak, these conferences take a look at what number of buyer autos are off the highway and what Ford can do about it — with components, technicians or an alternate car.
“It’s a very totally different mindset that we now have, and that’s truly given us the chance to increase our management,” Schep mentioned.