A new Ford initiative could spell the end of the retail-only offers that create a distinction between fleet and private car buyers in the open market.
Manufacturers regularly advertise special deals in the media with the caveat that they are for private customers only. Fleets tend to be tied into terms and conditions which are agreed with manufacturers like Ford up front for car purchases.
Now, however, Ford wants to give fleets the opportunity to take advantage of the same local dealer offers enjoyed by private car buyers if it mean they can get a better deal than under the terms of their contract agreement.
Those offers might include higher discounts or weekend sales where dealers look to offload surplus stock.
Kevin Griffin, Ford director – fleet operations, said: “There are times when the market changes and we want customers to have the benefit of buying from a separate source if it gives them a better deal. It will cost us more money but it will build our relationship and our dealers’ relationship with the customer.”
The initiative is expected to be ready for launch by the end of the year. Ford is working on its internal systems to ensure fleets that buy cars more cheaply than the agreed contract get a quick rebate on the difference.
“It will effectively mean we don’t do retail only offers any more and it will drive complexity out of the business,” said Mr Griffin.