That’s a wrap …

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Ford Motor Co. recently unveiled a new offering aimed helping it sew up more business from its fleet customers: a custom vehicle graphics programthat allows vehicle users to not only create the graphic designs for their trucks, vans, and cars, but offers it as a sort of “factory-install” option as well.

In the end, that further helps to enhance the “one-stop-shop” capability of the OEM’s commercial dealer network, Ford spokesman Aaron Miller told me by phone.

“We’ve partnered with Getty Images so our fleet customers get access to a wider range of design options for their graphics and we use a 3M vinyl product for the wrap itself,” he explained.

That Getty library, by the way, contains more than  5 million stock photo, but customers also can upload their own pictures, too, Miller said.

“It’s all about allowing the customer to do more for their vehicle at one location.” He stressed. “With this graphics package option, they don’t have to take their new vehicle to a third party location to be ‘wrapped.’ They can do all of that through their Ford dealer and thus pick their vehicle up completely ready to go to work.”

[Such “wrapping” by the way is no easy task. Just take a look at the work involved in the time lapse video below.]

Miller added that this custom graphics program is available for the new Ford Transit full-size van, new and old versions of the Transit Connect cargo van, the E-Series van, and its SuperDuty trucks as well.

He pointed out that Ford also made a range of improvements to its online commercial graphics tool to both speed up and simplify the process of creating, ordering and purchasing vehicle wraps.

“The site accommodates a variety of designs and budgets – from businesses that operate a single vehicle to larger fleets,” added Kevin Koswick, Ford’s director of North American fleet, lease and remarketing operations. “Graphics are a tremendous way to make a first impression and the retooling of this site helps customers make a better design more easily.”

Koswick stressed that all graphics production is done in-house, with installation handled by the customer’s certified Ford dealer or a specially trained installation company obtained through the dealer. Designs are covered with a clear over-laminate to add durability to the product and lessen the effects of ultraviolet (UV) light on the material and the graphics are designed to last from three to five years.

[Here are some good “graphic care tips” formulated by 3M. Though a car is used in this demonstration, the tips can be applied to truck graphics, too.]

In the end, Koswick said that graphics programs like this one “allow customers to create their vision of the ideal rolling billboard for their business.” Indeed, trucks, vans, and cars alike are perhaps the biggest type of “business card” to be found, so why not use its full potential as such?

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on Nov 8, 2013

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