Ford is moving towards the launch of individual vehicle servicing, initially on its light commercial vehicle range, alongside increased connectivity premiering on the revised full-size Transit in the second half this year.
“As an industry generally, we have worked on fixed service intervals, and we know the
use cases of vehicles are
so varied,” Ford fleet boss Owen Gregory (pictured) told Company Car Today.
The capability to manage an individual vehicle’s service, repair and maintenance requirements will emerge as part of Ford’s new telematics systems fitted to its light commercial range. “When you have got all the information, how do you extract that and provide it either to the driver or the fleet manager to ensure that ultimately we are working towards the goal of 100% uptime?” Gregory continued.
“This is about empowering the people responsible for keeping that vehicle operating, arming them with a level of information about the health of the vehicle, but also the prognostics – this is the status of the oil, this is the status of the particulate filter – to say if the vehicle continues to operate as it currently is, this is the life that is left in it, and therefore how do you take that information and make a conscious decision about when am I going to schedule this vehicle for a service event, what service event is required and how can I bundle up service events so it’s down
for the least possible time?
“If you are operating on very low mileage in an exclusively urban area stop-start environment, then the service demands on that vehicle are very different to one that is spending hours at a time running up and down motorways,” he concluded. “That’s why a fixed service interval isn’t always very helpful. Having usage-based servicing and giving real-time information to the people responsible for managing the vehicle can make an enormous difference to how that vehicle is managed.”
Although the first target for usage-based servicing is the commercial vehicle range, Gregory refused to rule out a move to the car line-up. He also said extending service intervals for lightly used vehicles is not on the table, as the dealer attention helps meet duty-of-care obligations.