Ford Credit is developing more ways to support commercial vehicle financing as Ford increases its investment in its commercial segment.
Ford Credit is moving toward becoming a digital finance company and being a key part of Ford Motor Co.’s commercial vehicle business, Ford Pro, John Lawler, chief financial officer at the parent company, said during Barclays’ Global Automotive & Mobility Tech Conference on Nov. 30 in New York.
The captive is considering how it can use Ford Pro commercial lines of credit to do more for fleet customers, including charger financing, he said. Ford Credit provides commercial lines of credit and commercial financing through Ford Pro FinSimple.
Commercial vehicle investment
Ford intends to continue investing in Ford Pro as demand for commercial vehicles outpaces supply, Lawler said.
“The Pro customer still has a lot of demand, and there’s growth in commercial,” he said. “The [Inflation Reduction Act], the CHIPS Act … is driving a tremendous amount of demand for commercial vehicles.”
Beyond the growth opportunities created by government legislation, commercial customers had already warranted more attention, Lawler said.
“Commercial customers have been underserved for a number of years,” he said. “Demand is still long to the supply that we can provide at this point.”
Ford holds the largest market share of commercial vehicles in the United States and Europe, making commercial vehicles a crucial opportunity for the company, Lawler said.
Improving customer experiences
More directly connecting with commercial customers is stressed at Ford Pro FinSimple, the unit’s executive vice president, Jim Drotman, previously told Auto Finance News, a sister publication of Equipment Finance News.
Building relationships with commercial customers, improving customer operations and strategic investment in the commercial space remain key to the parent company’s strategy, Lawler said.
“We have software-integrated services, and we are building out that relationship with those customers through our service networks, improving their productivity, improving their uptime, and we are going to continue to invest in that business,” he said. “We said mid-teen margins, profits are going to double this year. … We need to invest in the growth in this business, but we have to do it wisely and in areas where we can get a return on that capital.”