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Ford Considers Axing Car Feature That Could Save Company Millions Per Year

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All I’m saying is if you drop a $60 item from a $40k vehicle nobody will notice or care that the price stayed the same.

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The following quoted portion of article implies to me that $60 item is just one “example” in a broader goal.  There’s no mention how much of the $2 billion is associated with decontenting, but I interpreted as much more than the $10 million number.

 

 

"Very, very few people are using it, so we can remove that feature," Galhotra said, saying the move would save around $60 per vehicle, amounting to roughly $10 million per year.

 

All told, Ford expects to save around $2 billion this year through efficiencies, executives said on the call.

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I’ve had park assist on three different vehicles since 2015 and used it exactly zero times. 

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6 hours ago, sullynd said:

I’ve had park assist on three different vehicles since 2015 and used it exactly zero times. 

This is why it’s being discontinued, the park assist never had the wow effect on drivers that Ford

had hoped for but I know that a lot of women and  people unsure in todays parking lots with those

tall trucks and SUVs probably  could/should  use it rather than  grazing up against other vehicles.

Edited by jpd80

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11 hours ago, Rick73 said:

The following quoted portion of article implies to me that $60 item is just one “example” in a broader goal.  There’s no mention how much of the $2 billion is associated with decontenting, but I interpreted as much more than the $10 million number.

 

 

"Very, very few people are using it, so we can remove that feature," Galhotra said, saying the move would save around $60 per vehicle, amounting to roughly $10 million per year.

 

All told, Ford expects to save around $2 billion this year through efficiencies, executives said on the call.


Efficiencies includes a lot of things other than removing features.

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On 2/10/2024 at 3:04 PM, akirby said:


A $60 discount on a $40k+ vehicle?  Seriously?

 

My problem is - today it's park assist, tomorrow (or rather also today on many models) it's the keypad, next it'll be heated seats, etc.   and they'll continue to pull away features while not decreasing the price

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35 minutes ago, rmc523 said:

 

My problem is - today it's park assist, tomorrow (or rather also today on many models) it's the keypad, next it'll be heated seats, etc.   and they'll continue to pull away features while not decreasing the price


The price is set by the market regardless of what features it does or doesn’t have.  We’re just more sensitive because we know what was taken away.  If they debuted a new vehicle without those features at the same price nobody would care.

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16 hours ago, akirby said:


Efficiencies includes a lot of things other than removing features.


 

Thinking about what you said above, Its possible that that the broader strategy looks at various 

trim levels and bundled options to determine what is really needed - obligation of the 

various bundled features adds a lot of complication, maybe that can be rolled into

trim versions to lock in defined supplier amounts and further streamline the process?

 

Sure beats the heck out of customer surveys, lots of data that’s factual, not subjective /customer feelings.

 

Quote

https://bnnbreaking.com/tech/ford-eyes-data-driven-cost-saving-strategy-removing-underutilized-features
 

Ford Motor Company announces a cost-saving initiative that utilizes connected vehicle data to determine underused features. The plan aims to save US$2 billion in 2024 by eliminating such features, thereby reducing costs and enhancing efficiency

 

As Ford Motor Company navigates the competitive auto industry, it is bringing a new approach to cost-cutting into the spotlight. The American multinational automaker has announced an innovative cost-saving initiative, aiming to optimize the use of connected vehicle data to identify underutilized features in its vehicles. The intent? To eliminate such features, thereby reducing material and system costs and driving efficiency.

 

Streamlining Operations for Sustainable Savings

This forward-thinking measure was unveiled during Ford's Q4 2023 investor earnings call. The company has set its sights on a savings goal of US$2 billion (approximately A$3.06 billion) for the year 2024. The drive is part of a broader ambition to streamline operations, rooted in the belief that every feature included in a vehicle should bear meaningful value for the owner.

Decisions Driven by Data

The initiative is unique in its reliance on connected vehicle data to make informed decisions. By analyzing the data, Ford can determine which features are rarely used by owners and can thus consider them for removal. The company has yet to provide specific details about which features might be eliminated, but one example offered was the auto-park feature. This hints at a potential shift in the industry, where customization could increasingly hinge on user data rather than market trends or aesthetics alone.

Looking Ahead: The Road to Efficiency

While the specifics remain under wraps, Ford’s decision signals a commitment to enhancing efficiency in multiple ways. The company is exploring opportunities for redesigning parts for cheaper production, finding savings through suppliers as inflationary pressures ease, and aligning features more closely with customer preferences. As the auto industry continues to evolve, Ford's data-driven initiative could set a precedent for other manufacturers, catalyzing a new era of efficiency and customer-centric design.

 

Edited by jpd80

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Having used the park assist in my Expedition I can say that the reason people don't use it is because it is a pain in the rear to use.  It doesn't always detect open spaces, requires you to drive slowly to attempt to find them, and then once it does, it takes forever to park.  It is much faster for an experienced driver to just park it themselves.  It is a "Gee Whiz" feature that has had 0 development beyond getting it to do both perpendicular and parallel parking (I had the parallel parking in my '12 Explorer and used it maybe a handful of times).  The concerning thing is Ford brings features, and instead of improving them to make them more useful, they just sit back and wonder why no one is using it.

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I’m amazed that this feature only costs $60 yet ford probably charges thousands for it. Wonder how much they jack up the price on everything else? 

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20 minutes ago, T-dubz said:

I’m amazed that this feature only costs $60 yet ford probably charges thousands for it. Wonder how much they jack up the price on everything else? 


It’s only part of the system.  The rest is probably still needed for other functions that customers still use.

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12 hours ago, jpd80 said:


 

Thinking about what you said above, Its possible that that the broader strategy looks at various 

trim levels and bundled options to determine what is really needed - obligation of the 

various bundled features adds a lot of complication, maybe that can be rolled into

trim versions to lock in defined supplier amounts and further streamline the process?

 

Sure beats the heck out of customer surveys, lots of data that’s factual, not subjective /customer feelings.

 

 

 

I'd imagine they probably have data that says some high percentages that purchase "option package 1" also get "option package 2", so why not bundle them into one single package instead.

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50 minutes ago, rmc523 said:

 

I'd imagine they probably have data that says some high percentages that purchase "option package 1" also get "option package 2", so why not bundle them into one single package instead.

Exactly, 

Actual usage may show a different result and leads to greater accuracy without any emotional bias.

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Maybe I don't fully understand how it functions, but I'm wondering how deleting a feature that you already designed and uses cameras/sensors that need to be there for blue cruise/etc can save money? EPAS is already there, the cameras are already there, is there physical buttons for the system? and if so, why can't they just be moved to the screen??

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18 minutes ago, Captainp4 said:

Maybe I don't fully understand how it functions, but I'm wondering how deleting a feature that you already designed and uses cameras/sensors that need to be there for blue cruise/etc can save money? EPAS is already there, the cameras are already there, is there physical buttons for the system? and if so, why can't they just be moved to the screen??


Obviously there is some part that’s only needed for parallel parking other than buttons.  Plus not every vehicle has bluecruise.

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12 minutes ago, akirby said:


Obviously there is some part that’s only needed for parallel parking other than buttons.  Plus not every vehicle has bluecruise.


Well, yeah obviously, if it's going to save money by deleting it. Was just curious on the how/why.

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I have stated many times on this forum about my aversion to decontenting, especially with the escalating vehicle prices.  And let’s be real, that is what this is regardless of how Ford is spinning it to shareholders.   I just don’t understand why Ford continually does these things that provide a negative perception for the customer, and not all shareholders are customers.  If you want to make it option instead, I understand that, but to eliminate it to save a measly $60 at the expense of your customers just doesn’t make sense to me.  

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33 minutes ago, tbone said:

I have stated many times on this forum about my aversion to decontenting, especially with the escalating vehicle prices.  And let’s be real, that is what this is regardless of how Ford is spinning it to shareholders.   I just don’t understand why Ford continually does these things that provide a negative perception for the customer, and not all shareholders are customers.  If you want to make it option instead, I understand that, but to eliminate it to save a measly $60 at the expense of your customers just doesn’t make sense to me.  


Customers aren’t using the feature so who’s going to miss it?

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55 minutes ago, akirby said:


Customers aren’t using the feature so who’s going to miss it?

I would rather have it for the once every three years I use it, than Ford save $60 bucks and still charge me the same.  

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47 minutes ago, tbone said:

I would rather have it for the once every three years I use it, than Ford save $60 bucks and still charge me the same.  

 

In the grand scheme of things when do things actually get cheaper? Only if you downsize or order less options. But there are so many variables with that too. 

 

Lets put this way, I had this really cool indicator thing on my 1986 Escort GT

 

junkyard find 1988 ford escort gt

 

Never had a car again with it...did I miss it? Nope. Some of the stuff moved to the dashboard, but never had a brake/Tail light or Headlight out indicator ever again.  

Edited by silvrsvt

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1 hour ago, tbone said:

I would rather have it for the once every three years I use it, than Ford save $60 bucks and still charge me the same.  

 

But you wouldn’t bat an eye if they dropped the price $60 in June then raised prices $500 for the new model year 3 months later.

 

Look, I don’t like the decontenting either but prices would go up either way.

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13 hours ago, silvrsvt said:

 

In the grand scheme of things when do things actually get cheaper? Only if you downsize or order less options. But there are so many variables with that too. 

 

Lets put this way, I had this really cool indicator thing on my 1986 Escort GT

 

junkyard find 1988 ford escort gt

 

Never had a car again with it...did I miss it? Nope. Some of the stuff moved to the dashboard, but never had a brake/Tail light or Headlight out indicator ever again.  


I seem to remember one of my dad's newer superduties telling you on the dash screen if a bulb was out, or maybe saying issue with trailer bulb. Might be making them up though.

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I just noticed that indicator has an image of a Pinto and not an Escort on it LOL I wonder if this was something they had on the Pinto also. 

 

I got the photo from junk yard Escort GT article I found. My memory can't recall if its correct or not, but I have a feeling it is. 

  • Haha 1

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They can keep the park assist and the $60 but don't EVER take away the 360 degree camera or the hands free trunk release.

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