No timeline for FordHubs in Canada

Ford Canada chief Dianne Craig spent some of her time on stage at CIAS last week talking not about the product decorating the expansive booth but rather the new initiative dubbed FordPass coming out of the U.S. office.

First revealed during the North American International Auto Show in Detroit by U.S. Ford CEO Mark Fields, the system is described as a four-pronged customer engagement process that consistently communicates with owners in the hopes of establishing a different kind of relationship.

The most interesting program pillar for readers of Canadian AutoWorld is the FordHub – a move that seems to come straight from the Tesla playbook.

Ford calls the Hubs brand facilities in urban storefronts that will showcase the company’s latest innovations, let visitors build and spec cars on large screens and employ brand guides to help showcase the automaker’s mobility services.

The first Hub will open later this year at Westfield World Trade Center in New York City, followed by locations in San Francisco, London and Shanghai.

Stephen Odell, Ford’s V-P of global marketing, sales and service, says the Hubs will not be direct extensions of dealerships but rather pressure-free environments.

“We want to hear people’s thoughts, and we want to show them what we’re doing to solve the transportation issues of today and tomorrow – and not just in their city, but around the world,” Odell has said.

Company reps at CAIS said that while FordPass will be launching in Canada later this spring, there is no timetable in place to bring the brick-and-mortar Hubs to major cities in Canada at this time.

In addition to the facilities, FordPass will offer personal mobility assistants called FordGuides that offer a number of 24/7 services including resolving any mobility challenges, booking parking and more.

Members can pay for certain services through a virtual wallet called FordPay and connect with their dealer to schedule maintenance and service appointments.

Joining will be free for all Ford owners.