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Friday, October 22, 2021

Forget factory accessories, Ford helps Maverick owners with DIY mods

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The Ford Maverick, a medium SUV-based pickup sold in the US for a bargain price, is not on the cards for Australia.

However, Ford’s interesting pitch to buyers is definitely one worth noting down, because in some ways it’s quite a departure for any car brand.

Ford is running a YouTube series called ‘Hack Your Maverick’ showing people how to DIY their own bed rail lighting system, install an air compressor, make a bike rack for $45 worth of materials (over Ford’s own $489 tow bar-mounted carrier), or screw in steel bed side-rails.

The company directs owners to the videos via a QR code printed in the Maverick’s tub.

The short videos are targeted at young, not particularly financially flush buyers who probably see factory accessories as out of their league. What’s unusual is that Ford seems to be embracing them.

Typically car companies want you to pay for their accessories, which are a lucrative source of revenue. Yet as this story shows, customers do often appreciate it when a brand takes the other path. Call it enlightened self interest…

Why is Ford doing this? It desires love from younger, budget-conscious buyers, who it hopes no doubt will create a DIY community around the vehicle, ensconcing its popularity. A quote from Ford’s US chief marketing officer, Suzy Deering, in Automotive News is telling.

“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 said.

“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.”

“Hopefully they grow a connection to the vehicle,” added Ford vehicle engineering specialist Jay Kistler. “The Maverick they buy is the platform to start out with, and we’ve provided some thought starters to make the truck their own.”

So while the Maverick isn’t open to Australians, Ford’s attitude to DIY updates might be some day, if it sees it as a way to burnish its image and cultivate more loyalty.

MORE: 2022 Ford Maverick revealed, not for Australia
MORE: Ford to sell ARB 4×4 accessories in dealers

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