Error parsing XSLT file: \xslt\FacebookOpenGraph.xslt Up-market Vignale branding aims to give premium option for Ford
Cookies on Businesscar

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on the Business Car website. However, if you would like to, you can change your cookies at any time

BusinessCar magazine website email Awards mobile

The start point for the best source of fleet information

Up-market Vignale branding aims to give premium option for Ford

Date: 04 November 2014   |   Author:


Ford is confident of attracting buyers able to pay higher prices, says Ovenden. "When I look at vehicles like the S-max and where we attract customers from, there is no issue or solid wall that prevents us conquesting," he says. "People are smart and if they see they can get a superior product to the one they were in, I think they'll come across."

The Vignale name comes from an Italian coachbuilder formed in the 1940s that ceased to exist in 1974, five years after it was taken over by Ford-owned DeTomaso Automobile. Aston Martin used the brand on a 1993 concept car, and Ford also applied it to the 2004 concept that became the Focus CC.

But Vignale is not the only focus of attention for the new Mondeo, with Ovenden keen to increase user-chooser penetration. "Ford's market share is 14.7% but in user-chooser we don't get anything like that, it's dominated by the German brands," he explains. "We see an opportunity with user-chooser, the Mondeo is a brand new car with fantastic styling, packed with technology and low-CO2 engines, so I see a real opportunity with user-chooser fleets."

He claims the work Ford has done on cutting short cycle business is already having an impact on RVs. Ford's volume into rental has dropped by one percentage point in the last 12 months, and now sits at 20.2%, compared with up to 40% around eight years ago.

"It's not like rental is bad, rental customers are good customers for us but you don't want too much of it because it affects your RV," says Ovenden, pledging to reduce the ratio further to help residuals. He says the three-month contracts are the ones that have the largest impact on RVs, and that has been cut significantly. "If it's good business we'll do it, but now we don't do rental to create registrations - some manufacturers use rental to get rid of inventory they can't get rid of anywhere else and we don't do that," he declares. "We're seeing evidence that the strategy is working and it should because it's supply and demand. If there's less supply, the RV should go up."

But Ford's UK MD is looking for growth across more of the range, pinpointing volume lifts on the recently refreshed and expanded light commercial vehicle line-up and SUVs in particular, as well as user-chooser Mondeo activity.

"We've been playing with Kuga, we have Ecosport and in the fullness of time we'll have Edge, I don't see why our SUV share will be less than anything else," he concludes.