As the vehicle personalization market hits $45 billion this year, according to SEMA, Ford Accessories will offer its Yakima outdoor adventure products through Ford dealerships starting with the launch of the all-new 2019 Ford Ranger midsize pickup in early 2019.
Ranger customers will be able to select from a range of available Yakima accessories, and can choose to add the cost to their vehicle financing. All Yakima accessories purchased through a Ford dealership come with a 3-year or 36,000-mile Ford warranty and extended warranties also are available.
“We know our customers see their vehicles as extensions of themselves,” says Eric Cin, global director of Vehicle Personalization. “With the addition of Yakima accessories, Ford aims to enhance the experiences of adventure-driven customers by delivering innovative solutions such as truck bed racks that preserve cargo space by lifting kayaks, bikes and skis off the floor of the bed. It’s about making each adventure better.”
Ford hopes making personalized accessories available at dealerships will boost dealers’ revenue since aftermarket suppliers account for more than 50 percent of customizing purchases.
Available accessories include kayak racks, bike racks, truck-bed storage solutions designed to transport longer items securely, and truck-bed tents that keep customers and their essentials off the ground. Additional Yakima offerings will join the Ford Accessories portfolio over time to give customers access to more of the products that best fit their lives.
The ability to purchase aftermarket accessories at a dealership is one way to offer customer convenience. Another way is to deliver a load of goods from Walmart to a customer’s door via Ford autonomous vehicle.
In related news, the automaker is teaming with Walmart and Postmates to test autonomous vehicle delivery to people in Miami-Dade County, Flor. (using research vehicles).
“Already, Walmart has seen customers respond positively to its grocery delivery option, which uses the company’s trained personal shoppers to select fresh produce and other groceries for orders that are then fulfilled through Postmates and its other delivery networks,” says Brian Wolf, director of business development for Ford Autonomous Vehicles. “By the end of this year, that option will be available in 800 stores across 100 metropolitan areas around the country. Next year, the number of stores offering delivery service is expected to double.”
Wolf says that over the next couple of months, Ford will be working closely with Walmart to understand its operations, identify what goods we can feasibly transport, and pinpoint any issues that may need to be addressed to successfully deliver orders via self-driving vehicles.