Ford dealers are all knobheads !
It seems that most people in this forum agree with the above statement.
(At least those who dont work at dealerships !)
I wonder if Ford Australia offers or provides dealers - both sales and service staff that represent and maintain their product with proper
, formal training.
It would go a long way to ensuring the end-to-end 'customer' experience provided in buying and maintaining a Falcon (or any other Ford) provides a high level of satisfaction, and makes the customer feel they want to do it all again in a few years.
THATS HOW YOU SELL CARS NOW AND IN THE FUTURE !
I'm afraid a good or excellent car is no use when you have sales & service staff who are pathetic smart-arse loses who think their crap doesn't stink, and who will try and rip you off at any opportunity - especially if you are young (ie..not experienced).
To fix this problem Ford MoCo Australia could do two things:
1. TAKE CONTROL OF ALL FORD DEALERSHIPS (unlikely - would cost too much).
2. FULLY REGULATE DEALERSHIPS BY:
* Provide compulsory proper, recognised/acredited training to any customer facing sales staff at dealerships so that they know how to treat customers / potential customers properly.
*Undertake a yearly review of their dealerships to monitor performance (sales, customer satisfaction..etc), and if their rate of customer satisfaction falls below 90%, then Ford should put them on warning. If it happens the following year then threaten to cance/remove their dealership license, and if it happens again cancel their dealership agreement.
* Provide thorough and detailed training to their service mechanics. Maybe a 3-6 month rotation of their service mechanics through the Ford factory at Geelong or Cambellfield assembly/manufacturing plants will deepen their experience and insight into how the Falcon is constructed/built. This experience would better 'equipe' the 'local' mechanics at dealership to diagnose and fix mechanical or quality related problems quickly and reliably first-time every-time.
* Provide a margin cap on new vehicle sales at dealerships so they dont try to rip-off customers. Its amazing the different quotes on prices I have been able to get from different dealerships. (None have come-down to 'my' price on a new BA. But that's o.k, I'll wait for the BAII..)
* Provide a guaranteed buy-back/trade-in value on each new vehicle sold based on model, age, condition and kilometers. This will further encourage brand loyalty and give buyers some further certainty/confidence of depreciation. This will also limit the extent to which dealers can set their margins for used cars.
(ie..why is it one dealer valued my trade-in at $14,2k while another valued it at $16k ! - because of my low Km's)
But I can tell you why Ford Australia wont do the first couple of points of option 2 either, because 70-80% of their sales are to fleets, and the interaction between lease companies (customer in this case) and Ford is very formal and done under 'business' bargaining conditions. By business I mean contract prices against volumes..etc.
The grave danger of this is that Ford is consistently exposed to the Fleet Market, meaning if the fleets, who have alot of bargaining power collectively, decide to turn "off" Fords (and begin preferencing/favouring another manufacturer ie..Holden or Toyota), then they can exert alot of pressure on Ford.
A good example of this was the AUII/III. There was no reason why the AUII/III should have sold better than it did after its revamp in 2000, but the fleet operators continued to 'punish' Ford Aus MoCo and the AUII/III for the heavy discounting on the EFII/EL, which led to very poor resale (residual) values. This was a good case of doing the right thing for Retail customers, but letting fleet/leasing companies down (who I as a potential retail customer dont give a toss about anyway ...).
A way of getting around this is to increase reliance on the local RETAIL
market. This is one of the 6 conditions of Michael E Porter's Competitive Advantage theory - ensure you have strong local demand, which includes not relying on 80% of sales from one customer-segment, in this case fleets which can 'hurt' you when you try to get more competitive (price-wise).
Another way of getting away from this reliance on fleets/leasing companies is to diversify their product offerings (in Ford's case different models). Good quality small, medium, AWD/4x4, and luxury models are needed that appeal more to the retail (rather than fleet) markets. Maybe thats why were seeing the Territory, which looks as though will be primarily targetted at the Retail segment (Hhhhmm, may not be such a bad move after all... )
The leasing companies are 'cruel', and have no brand loyalty in their quest to make money from the fleets they manage, and my 'dislike' for them is equal to those idiot ford dealers.
GEOFF, GET TOUGHER ON YOUR DEALERS !
You've fixed the car, now fix your companies front-end !