Ford tackles vehicle downtime with new connected maintenance solution

Ford is introducing a new free-of-charge connected service to improve the uptime of its commercial vehicles by providing operators with maintenance information and remote diagnostics.

FORDLiive works on all new Ford commercial vehicles and all existing models that are fitted with a modem. It’s part of the manufacturer’s commitment to deliver 100% uptime for its customers.

It will be progressively rolled out across European markets during 2021, starting with the UK and Ireland, leading to 80% of customers being covered by dedicated uptime centres before the end of the year. Ford says it is committed to further increasing FORDLiive’s capability, and will continue to phase in uptime-boosting services across Europe after launch.

Hans Schep, head of the brand’s commercial vehicle division in Europe, says it’s the company’s biggest launch in Europe.

He said: “When we wrote the strategy for our commercial vehicle business, we decided the purpose was to make our customers’ businesses thrive. Productivity starts with uptime, we need to make sure our customers’ vehicles don’t break down and are as efficient as possible.”

The system works by sharing vehicle data with fleet operators and dealers. It means that vehicles no longer need to be taken to a dealership for diagnostics as technicians can remotely view data from the vehicle from the last 60 days to establish faults. Dealers can also reduce repair times by ensuring the correct parts are ready, in the event that repairs are required.

“People often call roadside assistance for things that are totally avoidable if the right person has the right information at the right time. This empowers our customers to make the right decisions,” explained Owen Gregory, Ford’s commercial vehicles aftersales director.

FORDLiive provides vehicle-specific maintenance information to fleet operators via the FordPass Pro app or a dedicated version of the Ford Telematics tool.

In addition to helping operators plan maintenance and schedule convenient service times, Smart Maintenance notifications help customers monitor and manage remaining oil life, AdBlue levels and tyre pressures to reduce the likelihood of unscheduled downtime.

The service is expected to reduce downtime by 60% and roadside assistance callouts by 30%.

Ford is also launching three FORDLiive centres, which will be staffed by dedicated product experts who can advise workshops on the fastest and most effective ways to fix a customer’s vehicle.

The teams receive live data from Transit Centres to track every repair. If they detect delays to repairs or repeated visits from the same vehicle, agents will advise on the best solution to identify and fix the underlying issue as quickly as possible.

Future developments of FORDLiive will include tailored uptime solutions that will be delivered to suit specific fleet operations.

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