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Ford price hike confirmed

Date: 20 March 2009

Ford has confirmed it will increase prices by an average of 3.5% due to exchange rate fluctuations between the Pound and Euro. The price increases will take effect at the start of April.

Speaking exclusively to BusinessCar about Ford's plans for 2009, Sharp said: "The pricing of cars is an issue and there's more to come due to the Euro. There is a limit the market will bear."

Sharp added that if prices are too high then there will be more contract extensions, however, "if RVs are going up then it will make it more attractive to change" to a new car.

Ford is expecting to grow market share, although not outright sales numbers, said Sharp.

"We've cut back on fast-turn business in the past few years. Last year is was down 20,000 cars to 60,000 cars. But this is the sum of quite a lot of parts. And we don't take the risk on all of those cars. About 30,000 go to the major daily rental firms. 10-12,000 of which are on buy-back.

"There will be more buy-back this year, but there is light at the end of the tunnel, RVs are picking up."

Sharp claimed Ford was already getting a grip of its business in the shrunken market.

"The first stage is to manage stocks and take production out. We've been a bit faster than others in that.

"The next thing is to make sure the business model is right. I'm trying to balance our slow and fast-turn business - and that helps RVs - and new product [Fiesta and Ka] is helping too.

"Fleet share will decrease, but there will be more user-chooser and Motability business as well as more retail business this year.

"We don't know how the credit crunch will bit business sales. Credit for business is a big worry, we all need credit to survive."