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Half of all Ford dealers to close in the UK

Published 28 February 2020

Ford is closing a large number of its franchised dealerships in the UK, as part of its long-term restructuring plan.

The announcement will cut Ford's 400 franchised dealer network almost in half, with the car and van manufacturer saying it needs to create a network of around 210-230 sales sites over the next five years. 

In an official statement to HonestJohn.co.uk, Ford said: "Customers will not be unduly inconvenienced when buying a new vehicle; there will continue to be a Ford selling site within easy reach for the majority of our customers, with around 90 per cent of the population within a 30-minute drive of a Ford sales point.

"Many of the existing smaller sales sites will be converted into vehicle servicing centres to further improve our customer service capability."

The number of new cars sold in the UK hit a seven-year-low in 2019, with 2.3 million new vehicles being registered - the lowest figure since 2013.

The latest industry figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) suggests that 2020 could be another tough year for car sellers, with year-on-year demand for new models falling by 7.3 per cent.

Industry commentators blame the slump in new car sales on the Government’s mixed messages on the future of petrol and diesel vehicles.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “Consumer confidence is not returning to the market and will not be helped by Government’s decision to add further confusion and instability by moving the goalposts on the end of sale of internal combustion engine cars.

"While ambition is understandable, as we must address climate change and air quality concerns, blanket bans do not help short-term consumer confidence. To be successful, Government must lead the transition with an extensive and appropriately funded package of fiscal incentives, policies and investment to drive demand. We want to deliver air quality and environmental improvements now but need a strong market to do so.”

Comments

hissingsid    on 28 February 2020

Confidence will not return to the car market unless and until there is certainty about the way forward, and that depends on governments worldwide. Meanwhile drivers will hang onto their existing cars.
Many older drivers like myself are reluctant to change for another reason. They do not want or understand the bewildering amount of "tech" built into most new cars, some of which is downright dangerous, such as the over reliance on touchscreen menus.
If smaller manufacturers follow Ford's lead and reduce their dealer networks, it could mean longer journeys for service and repairs.

glidermania    on 28 February 2020

Another manufacturer who wants to make it harder for people to buy their product but, will express surprise when they find people voting with their feet.

soldierboy 001    on 2 March 2020

Another manufacturer who wants to make it harder for people to buy their product but, will express surprise when they find people voting with their feet.

Having fewer sales centers Does not seem to hurt the likes of Hyundai and Kia, it's products and customer satisfaction that count.

Pigten    on 28 February 2020

How the mighty have fallen. I rerember the days when the once all powerful Ford Of Britain had one third of the new car market to themselves.

primus 1    on 28 February 2020

Was considering a new Puma , we have two dealers where I live, one is a small dealership so it looks like that one may be at risk..

Michael Laban    on 29 February 2020

I have bought Ford cars for many years but will have to consider other makes in the future Ford have failed partly due to short warranties on their cars other makers give longer warranties this must hit their car sales

   on 29 February 2020

Ford used to be the working mans car good affordable cars now they are not very affordable now I would love a new mondeo on motability but advance pay is 2/3 thousand pounds that’s not affordable so I went for the Hyundai Ioniq which is a brilliant car and it cost me £0 up front ford= far to expensive

Jonathan Watson    on 29 February 2020

Actually the longer journeys for servicing won't be the case. Fords plan to reduce the dealer network is for retail only. The after sales foot print should remain the same. So you night see the retail sites evolving to workshop only.

targen    on 1 March 2020

Anyone who believes a current main dealer site can be paid for by just the after sales department is dreaming... they could convert to just used car sales and servicing , but again , I believe there is no chance this will be profitable enough to maintain the site.

   on 29 February 2020

I think with the losses Ford is experiencing its only natural that they will want to stem that.
Closing dealerships is one way to stop this haemorrhaging.
To be fair even going to half the number, they will still have a big number to choose from as a customer.
Ford isn't the only one that's shuttering them. Vauxhall in my hometown of Dewsbury has shut after decades.
A real shame but a sign of ever changing times.

   on 29 February 2020

Hopefully Ford will concentrate on sorting out the appalling customer service and service departments.
My Transit custom is due replacement in 6 months...... unless there is service department shake up. No new transit!
Great van
Poor service!

targen    on 1 March 2020

I used to be a Ford man....in the days of Cortinas , Escorts , Sierras etc... but the current range is expensive (for what they are) , badge engineered , depreciate like lead balloons , and offer a below-average warranty (3 yrs/60k). Sorry , but if Ford cars disappeared , who would notice??

MartyF    on 2 March 2020

A great many, I feel. I have driven Ford for over 40 years, through the good and the bad times. My Mondeo, my 7th, in my opinion, still offers better value and reliability than the overpriced “prestige” manufacturers. Ford will live on, in a different format, perhaps, but I see the likes of BMW, Mercedes and Audi also downsizing. The Government has successfully killed-off the once buoyant car industry with endless dithering and lack of clarity.

GlassHalfHull    on 1 March 2020

My first car was an Escort mk2. Had BMWs and Mercs, and the last one for 10 years. I've just bought an almost year old Ford Kuga and added a further 3 year warranty, so it gives me 5 years cover in all. All being well I won't need it, but if I do, it's in place. The dealer is sitting on a huge number of unsold cars on two local sites and having had a Kuga before, I was happy with the deal I got. I have noticed that brochures have disappeared, but they're online. The introduction of cafes in my local Ford dealer makes it a decent stop for an hour if something needs doing. Servicing costs weren't necessarily much cheaper than my old Mercedes, and the refinement is a step down, but you get Carplay and Android Auto these days as standard, and Ford's are still a decent drive. Four mudflaps, supplied and fitted for £80 odd. The Kuga is a big old bus, and £5k less than a similar age Seat Tarracan. I didn't need what that £5k would have bought me. The bloke I bought from was pleasant and helpful, and a credit to his dealership. If you can still get Ford servicing and parts wherever you are in the UK I will still be happy, even if one local dealer were to be culled.

jchinuk    on 1 March 2020

The current fashion seems to be car sales 'shops' within out-of-town shopping malls, there are two in Lakeside. Perhaps that is the way forward, buying cars like you buy your M&S underwear.

Robert sexton    on 2 March 2020

ordered a new focus in Jan for delivery 1st March, phone 1250 on 29 Feb, car still in Dagenham no delivery date to dealer, Went in to dealership today to ask what was the problem, answer do not know should have had 25 cars to go out Sunday 1 Mar only 5 delivered in time for customers, no wonder on line car sales are winning the sales. FORD its time to get your act together.

MartyF    on 2 March 2020

I would take my order to a dealer who is more efficient. My Ford dealer provided me with weekly updates, and my car arrived in 4 weeks, built to order. Some dealerships are more efficient and have greater customer focus than others. I gather my dealer adopted a vehicle already scheduled and changed its specification to add my options. Four weeks end to end. Fantastic service.

HMR    on 3 March 2020

Once you've paid your deposit your stuffed, unless you pay a penalty charge to move as I've found to my cost.

Iain Harris    on 2 March 2020

I have always understood Ford don’t offer longer warranties as they don’t need to .
As the consummate marketeers that’Ford are, presumably they have done the maths and decided they can make more profit with shorter warranties
As the owner of 4 year old Fiesta ST which I’ve driven for 130000 since new with nil faults , I’d agree with their analysis!
Just bear in mind Toyota give a a 5 year warranty but Lexus only 3 ,so warranty length is not a quality issue.

NickNike    on 2 March 2020

After purchasing 8 new Fords I gave up because of build quality and dreadful dealer service. I've been buying Hyundai ever since. No problems.

elscint    on 12 March 2020

I hope they close the Ford dealership in Yorkshire that forgot to put oil in my Mondeos gearbox after changing a clutch for the second time at 23000 miles!

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