We’ve known for some time that the race to catch and overtake Tesla is heating up. Now, Ford’s CEO, Jim Farley has laid out a bit more of his plan regarding that race, and selling cars online is a big piece of the puzzle. He wants to be sure that no matter where you buy a Ford, it’s a predictable experience, even if you’re wearing ‘bunny slippers’.
That predictable experience is one that Ford seems highly focused on. Over the past few months, we’ve highlighted one story after another of dealers from different brands gouging customers in an effort to take advantage of the market. Ford for its part has actively responded to that criticism with action.
During an investor call last week Farley specifically said that customers need to “have a very predictable experience, whether they’re in a dealership or in their bunny slippers, and they’ll have a very simple, transparent, very easy purchase process.” He hopes to streamline the process but without cutting out the dealer altogether.
Read More: Ford Mustang GT Vs. Mach-E GT Is A Battle Against The Electric Future
The response came in a question about how dealers are experiencing gross margins that have more than tripled and if Ford sees an opportunity to keep more of that cash for itself in the future. Farley sees online sales not only as a way to keep customers happy but also to cut down on some of the ancillary costs of shipping a car to a dealer before it ultimately ends up in the hands of a customer.
He says that Ford must go to what he calls a “low inventory mode” where “the customer orders a vehicle, and then we ship the vehicle to the customer.” If the blue oval brand can pull that move off Farley thinks that it could save somewhere between $600 and $700 per car.
Considering the fact that Farley wants Ford to build some 2 million EVs by the year 2026, that’s a lot of extra cash on the bottom line. Additionally, it wouldn’t be a stretch to say that if this move does prove to be successful that Ford won’t change the way it sells gas-powered models too.