Ford switches to on-line service records

  19 August 2012

Ford is introducing an online digital service record system next month with the arrival of its B-Max small MPV, allowing dealers and customers to access comprehensive web-based service data.

The previously piloted technology will apply to all new Ford cars and vans following the B-Max and John Wellsman, the company’s service director, predicted the system should achieve a critical mass by the end of next year.

Ford’s technology, applying at 550 franchised service outlets throughout Britain, involves software provided by Cognitran, similar to that proven by Mazda.

Mercedes-Benz, Toyota and Lexus have also adopted digital service record processes. Toyota expects that its will be in use by the start of next year.

Paul Muers, Ford of Britain’s service marketing manager, said: ‘This is a convenient, reliable and secure system providing mutual benefits for our network and customers. It checks on warranty work plus recalls, prevents mileage fraud, and therefore removes any uncertainty or disputes about work that has or has not been done.’

Mr Wellsman highlighted the residual value benefit for customers selling on their cars by providing: ‘increased integrity and proof of work completed and, unlike paper service books, the information cannot be mislaid.’

He added: ‘It is the logical direction every manufacturer is heading in. Particularly when you can go to eBay and find a ready source of pre-stamped service books.’

The DSR technology does not involve dealers in extra costs because it is part of the web-based electronic technical information system, described by Ford as a 360-degree digital service experience. Ford plans to add online service booking and later access via smart phones.

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