If you put two vehicles side by side and compare pricing, the one with the lower sticker price may not necessarily be the least expensive to own and operate over a five-year period.
Recently Kelley Blue Book (KBB) recognized three Ford vehicles and two Lincoln vehicles with its 5-Year Cost to Own Awards. The vehicles are: the 2013 Ford Explorer (Full-Size SUV/Crossover); 2013 Ford Mustang (Sports Car); 2013 Ford Mustang GT (High-Performance Car); 2013 Lincoln MKT (Luxury Full-Size SUV/Crossover); and the 2013 Lincoln MKX (Luxury Mid-Size SUV/Crossover).
Ken Czubay, vice president, U.S. Marketing, Sales & Service, says that there are essentially two key elements to the five-year cost of ownership.
“The first is depreciation, and the second is out-of-pocket expenses, such as fuel, maintenance and repair costs as well as finance and insurance fees,” he said.
Czubay says the factors that influence depreciation are addressed in the four Ford pillars: Quality, Green, Safe and Smart.
“When we excel in those areas or do better than our competitors, we improve the long-term value of our vehicles,” he said, noting that resale value is the reverse of depreciation.
According to Czubay, the No. 1 driver affecting cost of ownership for consumers today is fuel economy.
“We’ve made a commitment that we will be leaders in fuel economy and over the last three or four years it’s been a top priority of the Engineering and Product Development teams,” he said. “With EcoBoost and other improvements in our engines the gains in fuel economy are dramatic. Not only that, but the consumer is still getting excellent performance.”
Czubay says consumers can save significant money over a five-year period by investing in a Ford vehicle equipped with one of the company’s the newest powertrains.
“Our dealers are telling us that customers are coming in with vehicles over 10 years old with more than 100,000 miles on them and facing regular maintenance fees that are in the thousands of dollars,” said Czubay. “Our service and sales people are creating awareness of the significantly improved mileage that our new vehicles offer thereby avoiding the service bill, leveraging the low interest rates that are available and coming up with a value proposition on the payment that the customer just can’t pass up.”
Another factor influencing cost of ownership is regular maintenance fees.
“It wasn’t that long ago that we increased the oil change cycle from 5,000 miles to 7,500 miles. Now most of our vehicles have a 10,000-mile oil change cycle,” said Czubay. “Maintenance is an important part of out-of-pocket expenses and we’ve cut those costs in half.”