Ford Motor Company’s parts division, Motorcraft, has undergone a massive overhaul intended to improve dealer sales and reduce overhead costs. Executives from the Blue Oval spent much of 2016 focusing on how to boost the profitability of their dealers’Â service centers and body shops while addressing concerns with the division.
Their solution involved expanding coverage on older model vehicles, expansive pricing reductions, and aÂ monumental decrease in parts complexity â€” making for a leaner, more efficient Motorcraft.
â€œWe are listening to our customers and taking significant steps to give them what they want,â€� said Marc Liskey, manager, Repair Product Planning Maintenance Light Repair, North America. â€œOffering competitive pricing and consolidating parts will make it easier to stock and sell Motorcraft parts, helping dealers, distributors and installers to do their job more effectively and improving customer satisfaction in the process.â€�
While parts amalgamation should improve overall availability, it is also minimizing expenses across the board. Automotive News spoke withÂ Brett Wheatley, Ford’s executive director of its North American customer service division, who noted a 32-percent reduction in redundant shock parts. Those 400 eliminated damper components reduced average dealer inventory costs by around $20,000. Ford even bragged that theÂ brand had cut the number of oxygen sensors it was required to stock from 24 to one.
“We’re doing it across the board on all of our product lines,” Wheatley said. “We’ve redesigned the product to have less overlap. Some parts have been a total redesign.”
Motorcraft may have fewer parts numbers to log overall,Â but it will actually have more individual components on hand for older model Fords (going as far back as the early 1990s). Considering that the average American car is older than ever before, it’s aÂ wise attempt to snag more of the automotive parts market for itself.
Ford believes the recent renovations to Motorcraft are already yielding positive results.Â Wheatley told Automotive News that the company’s 15 percent price reduction in brake pads boosted sales by 8 percent within the first few months.
The company has also seen aÂ 60-percent increase in its advertising budgetÂ from a year ago, primarily to help raise awareness of the parts group’s extensive reconditioning. While you’ll continue to see Motorcraft’s logo onÂ Ryan Blaney and NASCAR’s #21, the company is also rolling out free swag and merchandise with the brand’s name. It also anticipates an uptick in magazine spots and a national television campaign featuring Ford’s current service spokesman, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.