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Ford: Connect success boosts Mondeo launch plan

Date: 10 April 2014   |   Author:

Ford's plans to release data on new models earlier in order to build an order bank ahead of a model's launch will accelerate with the new Mondeo and revised Focus, following a successful first attempt with the recently launched new Transit Connect light van. 

"We set a target of 1000 orders before the first delivery and we've absolutely smashed it and got 4000," Ford's fleet director Phil Hollins told BusinessCar.

"It's convinced people you can sell something before you build it, particularly into SMEs through Ford Lease."

The new Mondeo's difficult gestation period, having been delayed by a protracted production move from Belgium to Spain, means much of the data has been in existence for some time. 

"We'll keep it really simple, the same thing as the Connect.

"The objective is to be out in the market with a lease rate in the summer and start doing deals with customers in August or September for their Q1 2015 requirements," he said.

"If we don't do it then we'll be behind."

Hollins is hoping for a residual value uplift as a result of vehicles being better specified for the UK market, rather than being sold from stock as Ford has previously focused on. 

"The key is to get them sold early so they are being built to the right spec, and then there will be an RV payback," he said.

"What it will be, we're not sure. We've got an aspiration and we'll get the guides to display their hand, then we'll see where we are."

Moving closer to leasing companies is also on Hollins' agenda, as 85% of Ford's total fleet is funded rather than bought outright. He cites the example of a unique offer with a leasing company where Ford "did a deal" on the cost of air-conditioning, and the leasing firm gave an RV uplift and actively promoted the proposition. 

"The closer you get to these guys, the better the working relationship," he said.