• October 16, 2014 at 10:23 am #64480

    I’m wrestling with why Ford maintains a red box (Motorcraft) and blue box (Ford) parts branding strategy – when in the majority the parts are the same or have specification.

    Any thoughts?
    October 16, 2014 at 12:49 pm #73747
    Tom Ham

    My understanding (which may well be incorrect) is that blue box parts are only available from a Ford dealer while red box are available at a dealer and in the aftermarket where the Motorcraft line is sold. I thought that a part came either red or blue, but never both. 

    We used to use more Motorcraft, however in recent years their pricing has become non-competitive. 

    Tom - Shop Owner since 1978

    October 16, 2014 at 8:02 pm #73748

    I think the disconnect in your thinking is that the red and blue box parts are the same.  Red box, labeled Motorcraft, until June 2012, was the aftermarket part that was “Approved” by Ford, and marketed by them.  The Blue label “Ford Parts” were supposed to be available only directly from dealers.  While many of the red label parts appeared to be the same, they were not in fact built to the same performance standards.

    In June 2012 Ford upset their own apple cart by making the decision to stop making some parts available in the blue label; starting with brakes for F250/350 and E250/350, which were not to be distributed in a blue label Ford package.  Within 8 weeks, the Ford Parts distribution network started seeing a large number of what had been blue label parts being superceded to MTC part numbers.

    I asked a Ford Aftermarket rep what was going on with this, and he said that part of Ford’s gaming of the system to make their numbers look better in light of the other manufacturer’s numbers/bankruptcy was that they have to balance the dollar value of manufacturer only vs. aftermarket parts. 

    When you look at the shelves in a parts warehouse that supplies both red and blue labels to dealers and independents, you will see they have changed to a higher percentage of red label over the last 2 years.

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