Will Ford launch MINI tlc rival?

Time 5:46 pm, October 29, 2008

FORD could be set to launch a rival to MINI’s popular tlc servicing package.

Trade sources have told us an announcement is imminent on a scheme that would see buyers charged a one-off fee when they purchase their car to cover servicing costs for three years, possibly even five.

Car Dealer understands a number of Ford retailers have been briefed about the servicing product and it could even be available for the new Ford Ka, due in dealers in January. It’s likely that the product would then be rolled out to the new Fiesta too.

The MINI tlc product allows buyers to pay a fixed rate of £150 to cover servicing on their cars for three years. It’s a hugely popular product with some 95 per cent of buyers taking up the offer and is even transferable to second owners.

MINI view it as a great way to retain customers, guaranteeing that they’ll see that buyer every year with a far greater chance of eventually selling them another new car.

‘It also means we know that the cars have been looked after properly when they come back into the system to be sold as used models,’ added a MINI spokesman.

Ford’s new Ka will be a key rival for the MINI so offering a similar servicing package would be a clever marketing move. The only stumbling block could be the fact Ford is in serious financial turmoil which could mean subsidising such a product isn’t a wise move commercially.

A Ford spokesman wouldn’t confirm whether the manufacturer was looking into such a product, but did say: ‘Ford is constantly considering its products and those of key rival manufacturers to ensure we stay competitive. A servicing package is not something we’ve ruled out for the future.’

So, that’s not a no then… With the new Ka due soon, don’t be surprised if the manufacturer makes an announcement soon. Just remember where you heard the news first.


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