FordRetail News & Events
FORD RETAIL GROUP HIRES RED
The Red Consultancy has been
appointed by Ford Retail on a retained basis to create a centralised
communications function for the group. Ford Retail is the world’s largest
dedicated Ford dealer group, operating 65 Dealerships in the
The six figure account was won following a six way competitive pitch, facilitated by the PRCA and led by Celia Pronto, Marketing and E-Commerce Director at Ford Retail.
Red was selected as a strategic partner as the group looks to build a new marketing function and team dedicated to raising the bar in marketing in the automotive industry. Red has been tasked with developing a communications plan that supports Ford Retail’s business objective of driving growth and profit through dedication to customers; development of its people and continual innovation. Red’s Consumer (Play) and Corporate team will support Ford Retail and be responsible for Ford Retail’s increased presence across a variety of media including consumer, corporate, regional and vertical.
Red Design will also be supporting the internal communications team with a re-design of the internal magazine and ongoing creation of the quarterly editions.
Celia Pronto, Marketing and E-Commerce Director, Ford Retail said: “We are delighted to be working with Red, who demonstrated a clear insight and understanding of our strategic objectives and business challenges during the pitch process.”
Andrea Donovan, Red added: “We’re excited to be working with Celia and her team to centralise the communications and implement an exciting new strategy across both consumer and corporate comms for the Ford Retail Group.”
FORD RETAIL STRENGTHENS BOARD WITH NEW APPOINTMENT
David McNamara joins as Managing Director - Aftersales
David joins Ford Retail from Kwik Fit, where he spent ten years
in a variety of senior roles. In his last position, he was group product and
service director, which included responsibility for the product development across
all areas of the businesses; including Stapleton Tyres Services and Kwik Fit centres
Commenting on his appointment, David says: “I am delighted to have joined such a well-respected organisation. The market and industry is evolving fast, with the traditional aftermarket struggling to keep up with the advancement in technology on new vehicles. Change is inevitable but Ford Retail will continue to be at the very forefront of the industry - I look forward to working with all parts of the business to develop our aftersales offering.”
Stuart Kerr, CEO of Ford Retail comments: “David brings with him a wealth of experience that will be invaluable to the organisation. He understands how Ford Retail’s vision and strategy align to the industry and I have every confidence that he will help grow the Aftersales business and help us meet the evolving needs of our customers.”
@FIRST PARTS APPOINTS NATIONAL SALES MANAGER
FORD RETAIL APPOINTS NEW REGIONAL DIRECTOR FOR DAGENHAM MOTORS EAST AND LINDSAY CARS
Ford Retail, Europe’s largest Ford dealer group, has appointed Shaun Allen as Regional Director of its Dagenham Motors East dealerships across the East London and its Lindsay Cars business in Northern Ireland.
Shaun will lead Dagenham Motors East and Lindsay Cars into a new phase of growth building on the reputation of first class customer service for which Ford Retail is renowned.
Dagenham Motors East is made up of 11 sites across East London, Essex and Kent including the flagship dealership located on Ripple Road Barking. While Lindsay Cars maintains 8 dealerships across Northern Ireland.
Outlining his strategy for the region, Shaun commented: “I am delighted to have been appointed Regional Director at Dagenham Motors East and Lindsay Cars. Ford Retail is a fantastic company and somewhere I have worked for many years. I look forward to helping drive the business forward; focusing on developing longstanding, close relationships with our customers whilst providing a seamless experience between sales and aftersales.”
Dagenham Motors and Lindsay Cars are part of the Ford Retail group alongside other brands Polar Ford (North England); Heartlands Ford (Birmingham) and Brunel Ford (Bristol).
VISION AND INVESTMENT IN CUSTOMER EXCELLENCE PAYS OFF
A long term vision and a £1.2 million investment in a three-year cultural change programme called ‘Moments of Truth’ are paying dividends for Ford Retail, the manufacturer-owned dealer group. 2012’s ‘Garage of the Year’ competition has seen 14 of its 53 dealerships voted into the top 50 garages for car servicing in the UK and two have now been voted as the best in their region.
A first for the UK’s motor retail sector in both scale and content, Moments of Truth is a bespoke customer excellence programme which Ford Retail created in 2009. All 3,200 of the group’s staff have been immersed in the award winning training and cultural change which is more likely to be seen in a bank or airline rather than a car dealer group.
The focus has been on creating a great experience and genuine ‘emotional connection’ with every customer at every opportunity. From the boardroom to the cleaner, each member of staff (not just those who are customer facing) has achieved, or is training towards, a nationally recognised NVQ qualification or diploma in Customer Service.
The result is that staff now firmly put customers before profit as a result of a significant sea-change in their attitudes and passion towards delivering the best customer experience possible. In its annual employee survey, 88% of staff now say ‘customer service takes precedence over everything else’ (up from 70% before the programme started) and 95% of staff state that they are ‘proud to work for Ford Retail’, up from 83% over the same time period.
John Leathem, Customer Relations director at Ford Retail, says: “Three years ago we had a clear vision for what we wanted to achieve in terms of customer excellence. We developed this culture change programme and delivered it from concept to completion ourselves. It is now achieving our objective of differentiating Ford Retail dealerships in the area of customer service excellence and we have been delighted with the results in this year’s Garage of the Year competition.”
Ford Retail’s 53 dealerships trade as Dagenham Motors, Polar Ford, Brunel Ford, Heartlands Ford and Lindsay Ford. In the ‘Garage of the Year’ competition, which is organised by the government backed industry regulator Motor Codes, 14 came in the top 50 and two (Brunel Ford for the South West and Polar Ford for the North West) were voted the best in their region. Of the six regions in the competition where Ford Retail operates, 43% of the shortlisted garages were owned by the dealer group.
The accolades for Ford Retail’s Moments of Truth are extensive. In 2010 it became the first UK car dealer group to win a National Customer Service Award – beating finalists including O2, Lloyds TSB and Thames Water. Judges commented: “the delivery and the results were truly outstanding in a sector not previously known for outstanding service.” It is also the first and only motor retail group to gain the coveted ‘Training Mark’ from the Institute of Customer Service.
Another key facet of Moments of Truth is the use of a powerful customer feedback mechanism which Ford Retail voluntarily developed to complement the standard Ford ‘customer viewpoint’ scheme. Called MOT24, after a customer buys a car or has their vehicle serviced, they will receive a call within 24 hours asking them three questions about their experience, including one to rate their satisfaction with the service they received. Dealership managers then swiftly respond to any customer concerns.
In 2011 over 23,000 such interviews were completed for customers who had had their car serviced, with 84% giving a satisfaction score of between 8 and 10 out of 10. Leathem explains: “This is immensely useful to us as, if a customer has any gripe whatsoever, we can act to remedy the situation within hours.”
Compèring a recent Ford Retail annual staff awards event, TV presenter and racing driver Vicki Butler-Henderson commented: ““I would like to pass on my praise to all 14 Ford Retail garages who have been short-listed for the Government-backed Garage of the Year competition - a scheme I have been involved with in the past. The nominations come from the customers - and you can’t get higher praise than that! So, well done, good luck and carry on!”
The shortlist of garages can be found on the Garage of the Year website. The overall national Garage of the Year winner will be chosen by a panel of expert judges, including Sun Motors Editor Ken Gibson and What Car? Consumer Editor Emma Butcher and announced on 14th May.
FORD RETAIL APPOINTS NEW @FIRST PARTS SOLUTIONS MANAGING DIRECTOR
FORD RETAIL APPOINTS NEW @FIRST PARTS SOLUTIONS MANAGING DIRECTOR
Ford Retail, Europe’s largest Ford dealer group, has appointed Jon Harte as managing director to lead its dedicated parts business, @first parts solutions, following the retirement of Angus Brown in December.
In his previous role as operations director, Jon was instrumental in setting up and developing @first into a £100million turnover business following its launch less than four years ago.
Outlining his strategy for @first parts solutions, Jon commented: “We are currently the largest seller of Ford parts in the UK with 25% of the market, but our vision is to be the Number 1 distributor in any way you wish to measure, whether it’s volume, profit, geography or customer service.”
“We put our people first in everything we do, who in turn put our customers first. Combining the best in customer service with innovative use of IT and efficient warehousing and distribution, means the business is in a good position to achieve our ambitious growth plans.”
@first part solutions employs 400 people working at five Parts Distribution Centres across the UK with a further six hubs and a fleet of 160 delivery vans. The business has over £10m of stock across 130,000 lines at any given time, and makes 2,500 deliveries to customers each day.