DETROIT -- Stacey Coopes, the new CEO of FordDirect, wants to roll out customer-retention and sales tools to complement the Web sites FordDirect manages for Ford Motor Co. and its dealers.
Coopes, 40, emerged as CEO from a group of executives that managed FordDirect as a team. She had been vice president of marketing and technology.
FordDirect, a joint venture between Ford and its dealers, was scheduled to announce her promotion today, May 23. Other members of the executive team, including Leo Hillock, Ted Vincent and Valerie Fuller, remain with the company.
In an interview last week, Coopes said Web site support and lead referrals are mainstays of FordDirect. But the company also has been adding products and services and will continue to do so.
In 2010, Ford dealers sold more than 275,000 new vehicles from FordDirect Internet referrals that came in through Ford's corporate Web site, dealers' Web sites or those of third-party vendors, she said. That number represents 22 percent of Ford's U.S. retail sales last year, the automaker says.
FordDirect processes those referrals and sends them along to dealers. The company also has a service that follows up with shoppers to see if they need additional help.
Coopes said FordDirect is exploring development of inventory-management tools to sell to dealers as well as reputation-management tools. The company also is looking to expand texting promotions included in Ford advertising.
Typically, FordDirect works with third-party vendors to develop custom products for Ford and Lincoln dealers. Those products are rebranded and sold to dealers for 30 to 40 percent below the retail prices because of the volumes FordDirect can bring to the vendors, she said.
A customer-retention product produced for FordDirect by vendor One Command is now widely used by Ford and Lincoln dealers. Coopes said it is aimed at keeping customers coming back for service and getting promotions in front of them when they may be coming back into the vehicle market.