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Ford's Mobile Service Van Brings Oil Changes

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May 2, 2019—Ford has specially outfitted Transit vans with everything a technician would need for most basic services, including a full array of tools and the parts needed for the services scheduled, reports cnet.com. The vans are setup for things like oil changes, battery changes, software updates, tire changes and brake jobs. A customer would schedule a service appointment ahead of time and the van would drive to them.

Cnet.com reports that the company also suggests the service might be attractive to conquest buyers from other brands.

Ford has some experience with this type of service, as the company operates a small fleet of mobile service vans for commercial vehicles in the UK since 2017. Tesla also runs a fleet of mobile service vans that, like Ford's trial, provides some services remotely.

The Mobile Service program would be separate from Ford's existing roadside-assistance program. Technicians involved would receive extra training on face-to-face customer service, the company says. At a normal service bay, a service writer is the go-between for customers and technicians, but with the Mobile Service van, the tech must do everything from greeting to accepting payments.

After the initial trial in California, Ford plans to expand the Mobile Service pilot program to other dealers in Texas, Illinois, New Jersey and Florida. Ford says it "will decide later" whether to expand the program further based on results.

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