VAUXHALL’S impending sale to PSA Group doesn’t worry the boss of Ford – its biggest rival in the UK – in the slightest.
Talking exclusively to Car Dealer Magazine, Andy Barratt, chairman and managing director of Ford of Britain, said that despite the bitter rivalry between the two biggest-selling UK manufacturers, new owners for Vauxhall were the least of his worries.
‘Genuinely, hand on heart, I don’t even think about competition,’ he said. ‘They’ve got a product, they’ve got their own routes to market. We have five million customers in the UK and my worry is whether I am serving those customers right. That consumes my day, to be honest.’
Barratt explained that the news didn’t shock him at all when it broke last week – especially after the announcement was made that the two parties were in talks.
‘Once the news broke, I expected it to go through,’ he said. ‘It’s not a shock. I think it’s inevitable there will be consolidations in any industry. They’re an interesting pair of partners and it’ll be an interesting challenge how they merge two very big brands. I wish them all the best.’
Barratt refused to be drawn on whether his firm would be using the period of uncertainty that will engulf Vauxhall and its dealers between now and the sale going through as an opportunity to pounce. ‘That would be churlish,’ he said.
He added: ‘I’m really confident in the product we have. We’re just about to launch the next generation of Britain’s best-selling car. I’m really excited about what we’ve got going on and that’s just the focus of our attention. It’s not a very good news story, but it’s a fact.’
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