In its quest to make the brand a household name among local car buyers, representatives of Ford Motor Company returned to Nigeria last to meet its two accredited dealers in the country and to also meet with the motoring press in Lagos, during which interactive session, useful revelations were on the aggressive marketing effort of the car maker.
Exchanging ideas with the motoring journalists in Lagos, Ezio Tuniz, regional sales and marketing manager, accompanied by Eugene Prinsloo, senior marketing manager and David Lawrence, dealer operations manager, for Ford sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) said that Nigeria with its huge population size is key to the brand’s business in Africa. He disclosed that the country accounts for a solid percent of our regional sales.
Taking stock of Ford’s performance in the past three years, Ford sales report in Nigeria grew more than 40% from 2010 to 2011 and another 8% in 2012 despite overall challenges in the local auto industry. So far, the Company’s sales performance for the first four months of 2013 has been impressive showing a 38 percent increase in comparison to the first four months of last year.
Total sales through April were 1,264 compared to 914 units sold during the same time period of 2012. He stated that growth in sales was led by the high demand for the All-New Ford Ranger Pick-up which comes in single and double cabin versions. Its sales were up 31 percent through April 2013.
“The driving factor for the increase in our sales, so far, can be attributed to the stock of more vehicle choices from our new product lineup at Ford’s dealerships, our extended warranty programme, as well as, our continued focus on strengthening dealers’ parts and service departments,” Tuniz said.
He revealed that, the ongoing extended warranty programme tagged the ‘Extended Service Programme, ESP,’ is offering customers free after-sales service of vehicles up to 4-years or 120,000km, whichever comes first through Ford’s major dealers till the end of August, this year. The offer is available on new Ford Focus, Fusion, Taurus, Edge, Escape, Explorer or Expedition, F-Series trucks, and E-Series vans.
Ford recently improved on its parts availability by expanding service of its Middle East Parts Distribution Centre (PDC) to dealers in SSA, getting parts to customers in the region more quickly than ever before. The Parts Distribution Centre began servicing 25 countries in SSA and more than 35 countries including Nigeria throughout Africa and the Middle East in February 2013. Previously, dealers ordered parts from each vehicle’s country of origin.
Today, more regular shipments from a single location significantly reduces the time customers will have to wait for parts to arrive at their service locations, as approximately 92 percent of the parts most often used for vehicle service or repairs will be in stock and immediately available at the PDC. Order to deliver time from the PDC to dealers in SSA will improve substantially, with parts orders now arriving at dealerships in as few as two days.
According to Tuniz, “Our goal for the facility is to help expedite the delivery of parts to dealers throughout SSA, and improve customer satisfaction in this important region where sales of Ford vehicles are on the rise. The PDC is capable of stocking up to 50,000 unique types of parts, or 6 million total pieces from all of our production locations around the globe.