FordDirect will celebrate its fourth anniversary this month. In just its fourth year of operations, the company will help dealers sell more than 200,000 vehicles this year through the Internet.
The company was founded in August 2000 by the Ford National Dealer Council. Launched in New Jersey with just 15 dealers and a handful of Internet referrals, today FordDirect has more than 3,900 Ford, Lincoln, and Mercury dealers participating nationwide. And last year, FordDirect provided dealers with more than 1.5 million new vehicle referrals and was responsible for 9 percent of Ford division retail sales.
FordDirect is also expanding its services offline.
“FordDirect has recently launched a new service, Call Track-10, that uses Internet technology to help dealers track phone calls from traditional advertising media, measure results from these campaigns, and train their salespeople," said FordDirect President Steve St. Andre.
FordDirect Call Track-10 provides dealerships 10 national toll-free numbers that are assigned to advertising media. As calls are generated by dealers' advertisements, they are recorded and logged with available demographic information real-time into a Web site and a dealer's lead management system. Real-time tracking is made possible by a new Internet technology, Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOiP), which converts voice to digits and sends them in packets over the Internet.