Towing Just Got A Whole Lot Easier
One of the most useful functions of a truck is the ability to safely and easily tow. Roughly 30% of customers in the light duty truck market are considered frequent towers. That means they tow once a month or more. So Ford has set out to make towing just a little easier.
This past Thanksgiving, you may have heard long time spokesman, comedian Denis Leary boasting about Ford’s new technology. Leary, known for his boastful tone, narrated a new television ad that debuted on Thanksgiving Day during Fox’s NFL coverage about Pro Trailer Backup Assist. Pro Trailer Backup Assist is designed to make backing up a trailer easier on the driver. This exciting new piece of technology will be available on the new 2016 F-150. It will allow drivers to steer a trailer hitched on back using a control knob on the dash. If you have ever tried backing up a trailer, you will know just how frustrating it can be. And Ford believes it has found a solution to that frustration.
Dynamic technology is growing demand in the automobile market. Ford recognizes that and spent quite a bit of their ad budget just to plug this feature during Fox’s NFL coverage. And as we all know, not only is NFL advertising time expensive…NFL advertising time during a nationally televised game, is even MORE expensive.
Last week, Autotrader released the results of a survey. Those results revealed that 77% of buyers stated that technological features are more important than the vehicle’s color. That same survey revealed that 65% of those people stated they would switch vehicle brands to get all their desired features. Some of those features mentioned were Wi-Fi and streaming music services to cruise control and diagnostic alerts.
"In-vehicle technology ranks increasingly higher for consumers as they consider must-have and desired features in their car shopping," Michelle Krebs, a senior analyst for Autotrader, said in a statement. "That puts automakers under intense pressure to anticipate and offer the technologies consumer’s desire, or they risk losing them to a brand that delivers." But while demand is increasingly driven by tech features, "automakers are just sort of catching up in terms of advertising those aspects," she added in an interview.
The ad for the trailer backup assist feature comes two weeks after the Consumer Technology Association included it as a "Best of Innovation Awards" honoree in the vehicle intelligence category.
Towing features are a key driver of truck purchases, said Doug Scott, Ford's truck group marketing manager. The trailer backup assist "really appeals to truck customers" and will benefit from "explanation and demonstration that we can do in a commercial," he said.
One of the other driver assist tools that will be available on the F-150 is Curve Control. Curve Control automatically reduces torque and applies four wheel braking if a driver takes a turn too quickly.
The Ford F-series is the largest U.S. vehicle brand by sales. Sales of the new aluminum-bodied truck grew 3.3 percent in October and are up 1.5 percent to 629,951 vehicles for the first 10 months of the year.
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