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Jan 11, 2016 | Detroit

•FordPass®, part of Ford’s transformation into an auto and mobility company, aims to do for car owners what iTunes did for music fans
•Launching in April, FordPass reimagines the relationship between automaker and consumer; membership is free whether you own a Ford vehicle or not by registering online
•Benefits include a Marketplace offering mobility services; FordGuides, who are always there to help you move; Appreciation, for membership loyalty; and FordHubs, where you can go to experience the company’s latest innovations
•Ford partnering with ParkWhiz to help drivers find and pay for advance parking more easily, and with FlightCar to help consumers share and borrow; FordPay makes it easy to pay for mobility expenses
•Ford also partnering with McDonald’s and 7-Eleven to reward FordPass members with merchandise and unique experiences
•FordHubs to open in New York, London, Shanghai and San Francisco; first will open later this year at New York’s Westfield World Trade Center

DETROIT, Jan. 11, 2016 – As part of its transformation into an auto and mobility company, Ford is introducing FordPass® – a platform that reimagines the relationship between automaker and consumer. FordPass aims to do for car owners what iTunes did for music fans.

FordPass members can talk to personal mobility assistants – FordGuides – night or day to help resolve their mobility challenges, whether finding a more efficient way to get around or booking parking before reaching their destination. Members can reserve and pay for advance parking, virtually build their ideal vehicle at one of several FordHubs globally, and receive rewards for FordPass membership loyalty.

“Ford always has been motivated to make people’s lives better,” said Mark Fields, Ford president and CEO. “We did it when we put the world on wheels a century ago and we do it now through our strong lineup of cars, SUVs, trucks and electrified vehicles. Today, we take our commitment one step further with the introduction of FordPass – an all-new platform that may be our most revolutionary yet.”

A FordPass membership is free for Ford vehicle owners and non-owners alike. The platform officially launches in April.

FordPass is part of Ford Smart Mobility, the plan to take the company to the next level in connectivity, mobility, autonomous vehicles, the customer experience, and data and analytics.

“As we’ve studied the mobility challenges people face, we designed FordPass to help provide services that make consumers’ lives easier,” said Fields. “FordPass is really about listening to people’s needs and developing ways to help them move better.”

FordPass features four elements to benefit members: Marketplace includes mobility services; FordGuides help consumers move more efficiently; Appreciation, where members are recognized for their loyalty; and FordHubs, where consumers can experience Ford’s latest innovations.

Marketplace

All members will have access to mobility services through FordPass Marketplace.

Ford is working with ParkWhiz and Parkopedia to help people find and pay for parking more easily, and with FlightCar to borrow and share vehicles when they travel. In the future, services will include ride sharing, car sharing, multimodal transportation and more.

Members can pay for these services through FordPay – a virtual wallet.

“FordPass is about convenience,” said Stephen Odell, Ford executive vice president, Global Marketing, Sales and Service. “We’re connecting consumers with the world, making it all incredibly easy.”

Ford owners can easily connect with their preferred dealer to schedule maintenance and service appointments or to review their Ford Credit vehicle finance account details.

Members who own Ford vehicles equipped with SYNC® Connect can use FordPass to access vehicle features such as remote start; lock and unlock; fuel, oil and battery charge levels; tire pressure readings; and to locate their vehicle.

FordGuides

No one wants to be just a number. That’s why FordPass members can speak directly to trusted and knowledgeable FordGuides – all at the touch of a button.

For example, if a member decides he would like to book advance parking for an upcoming show but is unsure how to reserve it, one push of a button on his smartphone lands him in a live chat with a FordGuide who will lead him through the options and help to reserve parking.

The guides will be available free of charge. Their only job is to guide, serve and help solve mobility challenges – not to sell.

Appreciation

FordPass Appreciation is about making mobility more rewarding – no matter the journey.

Members will be rewarded for doing simple things, such as registering to become a member, booking parking, or interacting with FordGuides.

And by collaborating with affinity partners McDonald’s, 7-Eleven and others, FordPass can recognize members with access to merchandise and unique experiences.

“We’re engaging with our customers – and our potential customers – aiming to make every interaction with the Ford brand a positive experience,” said Elena Ford, Ford vice president, Global Dealer and Consumer Experience. “We want consumers to know how much we appreciate them, and with FordPass, we’re taking loyalty a step further.”

FordHubs

FordPass also includes the opening of FordHubs, where consumers will be able to explore the company’s latest innovations, learn about its mobility services and experience exclusive events.

The first of these urban storefronts opens later this year at Westfield World Trade Center in New York, followed by FordHubs in San Francisco, London and Shanghai.

On-site FordGuides will help guests understand mobility options available in their cities, explore solutions for their mobility needs, view a real-time mobility map of their city, and experience special events, including new vehicle reveals.

“These aren’t places where we’re trying to sell something,” said Odell. “We want to hear people’s thoughts, and we want to show them what we’re doing to solve the transportation issues of today and tomorrow – and not just in their city, but around the world.”

FordPass launches this spring in the United States and Canada, followed by other markets including Europe, China and Brazil later this year. FordPass capability is activated through smartphones. Consumers can sign up for more information and updates at MyFordPass.com.

https://media.ford.com/content/fordmedia/fna/us/en/news/2016/01/11/fordpass.html
 

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From 'The Big Idea' to FordPass: How Ford's Reimagined Customer Experience Came to Life

•For 18 months, team members charged with improving Ford’s relationship with customers covered the walls and ceilings of their Command Center in Dearborn with sketches, post-its and printouts – benchmarking customer experiences of other leading-class firms
•Ford employees spent three days in April camped out in conference rooms at a Detroit hotel with some of the best mobile, design and customer experience minds in the world in their quest to enhance the company’s relationship with its customers

•The result is FordPass, available this spring to Ford vehicle owners and non-owners alike; the free platform reimagines the relationship between automaker and consumer, and aims to do for car owners what iTunes did for music fans

DETROIT, Jan. 11, 2016 – Last April, Elena Ford and a team of Ford employees spent three days behind closed doors at a Detroit hotel with some of the best mobile, design and customer experience minds in the world.

Their task had just become a lot tougher. What started as a mission to improve the relationship between consumer and dealer during a four-and-a-half-hour annual interaction had transformed into a greater cause – how to make consumers’ lives easier during those 900-plus hours a year they spend in a vehicle moving between home, work, school and social events.

“It was really competitive, with people moving between rooms trying to determine what owners, ride-sharers and general commuters would want out of a world-class customer experience,” said Ford, the company’s vice president, Global Dealer and Consumer Experience.

The 72-hour marathon yielded what the company considers one of its most significant innovations ever: FordPass.

The platform, available this spring to Ford vehicle owners and non-owners alike, reimagines the relationship between automaker and consumer. FordPass aims to do for car owners what iTunes did for music fans.

FordPass features four elements to benefit members: Marketplace includes mobility services; FordGuides help consumers move more efficiently; Appreciation, where members are recognized for their loyalty; and FordHubs, where consumers can experience the company’s latest innovations.

Benefits of FordPass include transportation services like reserving and paying for parking in advance, with ride sharing, car sharing and multimodal transportation services coming in the future. FordGuides provide assistance to any FordPass member who needs help on the commute – regardless of location.

A day in the life

At the end of the three days in April, the team came up with a model for FordPass, one of about 10 names considered. What started off simply as “the big idea,” the platform evolved out of brainstorming a day in the life of an ideal member, then was refined over the next several months to mirror the wants and needs of a consumer.

The team determined this person – whether a vehicle owner or not – could have the following daily interactions with FordPass:
•Start his or her car via the FordPass app in the morning
•Use FordPay to locate and pay for parking in a downtown lot
•Redeem perks at an affinity partner
•Instantly pay Ford Credit bill
•Chat with a FordGuide about where to find a FordHub to learn more about a new technology
•Use FordPass app to call roadside assistance to fix a flat tire

“Instead of having a handful of interactions with consumers each year, we determined we could actually have a handful of interactions each day, with the intention to make people’s lives easier and more rewarding,” said Stephen Odell, Ford executive vice president, Global Marketing, Sales and Service. “That’s how we decided we could elevate and participate in the full customer experience.”

Command Center

Despite FordPass coming together over the course of 18 months – “a record amount of time,” Ford said – it was not easy to accomplish.

The team cluttered the walls and ceilings of its Command Center at Ford World Headquarters in Dearborn with sketches, post-its and printouts – busily benchmarking customer experiences at other leading consumer experience firms such as Amazon, Ripcurl and others. Amazon is known for its popular on-demand Mayday button, which consumers can click to immediately be connected to a tech advisor.

Comparisons and ideas were flying – so much so that team members had to start making some do-it-yourself renovations to the Command Center.

The 80-inch TV screen used to visualize how FordPass would work turned out not to be big enough. At one point Jay Davis, director of Global Distribution Strategy, started drilling large pieces of cardboard into the walls to provide more space for the sketches, post-its and printouts. When that wasn’t enough, the team attached more cardboard to the ceiling to hang 11x17-inch slides and mockups.

With the launch of FordPass now just a few months away, the Command Center continues to change and grow as the team preps for its debut.

https://media.ford.com/content/fordmedia/fna/us/en/news/2016/01/11/making-of-fordpass.html
 

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What would be really handy, would be in cases when I'm driving past half a dozen transit stations (= subway, light-rail, bus, etc.) on my way to a heavily-congested venue, the FordGuide could weigh traffic delays vs. train schedules vs. parking lot sizes, to advise which station is the best one to park the car at, and ride the rest of the way to the venue on mass transit.
 

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Membership is free, but how much will services cost once the member base reaches the golden number they're aiming for?
 

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Not clear to me what this provides that I cannot already get from my iPhone.

I think Ford may due better staying focussed on making great cars/trucks, and leave the social networking to the folks who are already doing that.
 

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