There’s no doubt that the global coronavirus pandemic has made visiting auto dealerships in person more difficult. But even before the pandemic, consumers showed a preference for shopping for cars online rather than in person. In fact, one survey revealed that 53% of consumers would be extremely or very likely to buy a car online if given the opportunity.
In response to this shift in demand—and the unprecedented COVID-19 crisis—Ford recently launched a new program for F-150 consumers called “Driveway Dealership.”
What is the Driveway Dealership Program?
The Driveway Dealership Program is an augmented reality (AR) experience that gives people who are interested in the Ford F-150 truck an opportunity to virtually explore the vehicle without ever stepping foot in a dealership.
How Does the Driveway Dealership Program Work?
You won’t need to wait for an invitation or sign up for the Driveway Dealership program in order to participate in this AR experience. Instead, simply visit the Ford Driveway Dealership website and look for the QR code. Use your phone to scan this QR code to start your AR experience at home.
After scanning the QR code, you can use your phone to project a virtual 2021 Ford F-150 anywhere you would like. Most consumers are using this tool to project a virtual image of the Ford F-150 in their driveway so they can see what the vehicle would look like parked in front of their home. However, other consumers are having more fun with this tool. The projected image of the vehicle can be resized, so many people are using the tool to project small, toy-sized images of the F-150 in unusual locations, such as pools, porches, and dining room tables.
The exterior isn’t the only part of the truck that consumers can explore as part of the Driveway Dealership program. On the Ford Driveway Dealership website, consumers also have the option of exploring the interior of the 2021 F-150. Using this tool, consumers can see what the view from behind the wheel of the truck would look like.
They can also zoom in and out to examine various interior features, such as the new 8-inch horizontal touchscreen, which replaces the 4.2-inch touchscreen found on previous models of the F-150. These upgraded touchscreens are equipped with the Ford Sync 4 Infotainment System, which is designed with faster processing times, a more user-friendly interface, and access to a greater number of apps than previous releases.
Together, the AR experience and the interior images found online allow consumers who are interested in the F-150 to analyze every inch of the newest model from the comfort of their own home.
What Are the Benefits of the Driveway Dealership Program?
The 2021 Ford F-150 will be available for purchase at dealerships across the country this fall, but the Driveway Dealership program gives consumers a chance to explore the vehicle before its official rollout. As a result, this program has created a lot of buzz and excitement around the newest model of this iconic truck.
The AR program has also made the process of researching the vehicle much easier on people who are unable or unwilling to visit a dealership in person. These consumers don’t have to wait until the coronavirus crisis has passed or they have more time in their schedule to visit a dealership. Thanks to this tool, consumers can make the purchase decision entirely from home.
Consumers who want to purchase the vehicle can either visit a dealership or use Ford’s online buying tool to complete the transaction. With the latter option, the entire process of researching and purchasing a 2021 Ford F-150 can be completed from home.
What Consumers Can Expect With the 2021 Ford F-150
The 2021 F-150 was revealed in June and marketed as “an all-new truck” for the automotive manufacturer.
From the outside, the 2021 model looks like a slightly updated version of the 2020 model. The newest model is designed with higher front fenders and a track that is somewhat wider than the 2020 model. These minor adjustments give the 2021 F-150 a more masculine and rugged appearance.
The newest model can be equipped with six powertrain options, including a new hybrid 3.5-liter EcoBoost powertrain, which was not available on the 2020 model. According to Ford, the 2021 F-150 is also 3% more aerodynamic than the 2020 model due to the active grill shutters, which automatically close when the truck is traveling at a cruising speed.
Several design elements make it obvious that Ford recognizes that many consumers use their F-150 for work purposes. For example, consumers have the option of folding down a top over their center console to create a flat and sturdy work surface inside their truck. This flat top can be used as a writing surface or laptop stand, depending on the nature of the job.
There’s another work surface found in the tailgate of the vehicle. But this work surface also features rules, a place to store a smartphone, a pencil holder, and a cup holder. The tailgate of the 2021 F-150 is also designed with zone lighting to illuminate this part of the truck. This feature is ideal for people who need more visibility while working past sunset.
There are a number of subtle design details that fans of the F-150 will fawn over, including the American flag that is etched into the dashboard. This etching honors the fact that the F-150 is built here in the United States at either Ford’s Michigan or Missouri plant.
The base model of the 2021 Ford F-150 will begin around $30,000. The Limited F-150, which is the most high-end model, is expected to start around $70,000.
Consumers can explore all of these new and exciting changes using the Driveway Dealership AR program. Unfortunately, the Driveway Dealership AR program is only available for the 2021 F-150. But it’s safe to say that if it is a success, Ford may consider adding other models to the program in the future.