NASHVILLE — Ford Motor Co. offers more than 150 accessories on the 2022 Maverick pickup, but the automaker is helping customers avoid buying some of them.
Ford, for example, demonstrates on YouTube how to build a bicycle rack with $45 worth of lumber and screws, in lieu of its dealerships' $489 hitch-mounted, two-bike carrier from Thule. Another video provides instructions for an amateur light rack made from about $60 worth of supplies, even though Ford stores offer a $199 bed light kit from Lumen.
The company even directs owners to the videos via a QR code printed in the Maverick's bed that they can scan with a smartphone.
The three videos that make up Ford's "Hack Your Maverick" series — with more to come — might seem counterintuitive in a business that otherwise jumps at chances to boost revenue through aftermarket part sales. But Ford sees the do-it-yourself explainers as an opportunity to win over younger, budget-conscious buyers and build loyalty among Maverick owners who eventually will share their own customizations.
And it's one of the reasons Ford's chief marketing officer, Suzy Deering, says the Maverick could become the company's next icon.
"It has the absolute potential to be the level of an F-150 or the level of a Mustang because it's so connected in such a different way to the customer," Deering told Automotive News during a media drive here. "When we've done well, we build vehicles and products that customers become extremely passionate about. Maverick 100 percent lives up to that. I think it's on that path."
Deering said the company took unique steps throughout the Maverick's truncated product development process to give potential buyers greater input into and influence on the truck's features, especially its highly adaptable "flexbed" and interior storage options.
"It is almost like we've crowdsourced a vehicle," Deering said. "We always do research, but this research was different in that when we changed along the way, we weren't just answering Ford's needs but truly answered to the needs of our customer. If we do that right — you service the customer well and meet those needs — you get back on the value side. Will we still get accessory sales? Absolutely. But this gives them so much flexibility to meet their needs the way they want to."