New stores give huge Ford range room to breathe

Time 9:20 am, October 29, 2015

FORD is already the best-selling carmaker in the UK and, if its popular hatchback Fiesta were a brand in its own right, it would be the fifth best-selling firm in the world!

In terms of sales performance, then, the British carmaker has nothing to worry about. So, when success is already at the heart of the brand, where does it go next? According to Ford UK MD Andy Barratt, the brand will focus on the areas it’s already well versed in.

The small SUV segment continues to grow, with the likes of Skoda announcing plans to launch new contenders in order to keep up with the market leaders. Ford’s Kuga has a healthy order bank, while dealers continue to seal deals for the EcoSport. But it’s not just the SUVs that are attracting interest; anticipation is building as customers await Ford’s all-new, all-wheel-drive Focus RS.

When it goes on sale in 2016, Ford says the 350bhp performance hatch, powered by a 2.3-litre EcoBoost unit, will sprint from 0-62mph in an impressive 4.7 seconds.

‘SUVs are currently the key growth area in the industry, and we’re more than comfortable with our products in this range,’ Barratt told Car Dealer when we caught up with him recently. ‘In fact, our range has something for everyone.’

With so many options available, Barratt is confident that Ford’s dealers won’t have any trouble satisfying customers, especially with the installation of the brand’s new flagship Ford stores. ‘Our range is so vast, with a 20+ model line-up, dealers might worry that we’ll end up running out of space to fit examples of all of them in our showrooms,’ said Barratt. ‘That’s why we’ve launched our Ford Stores.

‘There will be 56 stores across the UK, meaning 85 per cent of the population will be within an hour of their closest outlet. Our customers can view the entire range, including the Transit, and this means that dealers will have a reason to call customers and get them into the showroom.’

He added: ‘The focus is moving away from making the deal and onto promoting the product.’

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