TrustFord, the world’s largest Ford dealer, isn’t feeling the effects of the semiconductor crisis and material shortages that are stalling new vehicle supply – yet.
Speaking on Car Dealer Live, the dealer group’s chairman and chief executive, Stuart Foulds, said the business had prepared for the shortage of new vehicles brought about by supply problems of key components, but it was in for ‘a rocky road’ ahead.
‘We’ve monitored the situation to ride the storm,’ he said in the video, which you can watch at the top of this story.
‘But, as stock starts to dry up, we are going to switch to remunerating our sales teams to order-take, rather than supply from stock.
‘We have got a reasonable volume of commercial vehicles in stock, mostly with a destination and an end user in mind.
‘But it’s going to become tougher. From our point of view, Q3 will be a bit of a rocky road. But I’m expecting a bumper Q4 to make up for that.’
Foulds added: ‘ So, when you put the two quarters together, I don’t expect that we’re going to do anything other than continue to be successful.’
The dealer boss believes the September new vehicle market will ‘underperform’ and ‘won’t be a strong month at all’ because ‘stock is going to be hard for most, if not all, manufacturers’.
‘I think it’ll be a little bit like late March was during the pandemic,’ he said, ‘where it was just a bit of a disaster followed by quite a strong April.
‘So it may be the case that September is weak, followed by quite a strong October.’
Foulds joined Car Dealer Live just a week after the company posted a £13.6m pre-tax profit for the first six months of 2021 following a £5.2m loss for all of 2020.
He explained how TrustFord – the trading name of Ford Retail – is expected to perform a U-turn and post a £2bn turnover this year.
Should the company do so, 2021 will break records.
In the video, Foulds also tells how proud he’s been of his staff during the past 12 months, TrustFord’s very strong return-on-sales figures, and how the company has become the largest supplier of Ford commercial vehicles in the UK.
Click the video at the top of the story to watch the full interview