Fleet News

Ford changes Escort strategy

FORD has restructured and simplified its Escort range incorporating a one price strategy which sees estate model prices cut by up to around £1,000 to give them price parity with four and five door models. In addition 1.6 16v 90 PS and 1.8-litre 16v 115 PS engined models are now available at the same price as are LX and Si models, CL models replace L models, a GTi Escort is to go on sale shortly and among specification changes LX - excluding the 1.4 - Si and Ghia models are now available with air conditioning as standard in lieu of a sunroof for an additional £250.

The move comes as Ford battles to defend its fleet market leadership as it continues to reduce supplies to daily rental companies and Motability business as well as control captive sales. However, a buoyant Mike Wear, Ford's director of fleet operations, says the manufacturer's fleet sales to-date in 1997 are above 1996 sales as 'net' fleet sales - excluding rental, Motability and captive - are significantly up with Mondeo fleet business 40% up on the same time last year. Ford reduced its rental sector supplies by 28,000 units last year and is taking out a further 6,000 units in 1997, but Wear said: 'We are committed to the rental market but we will not hurt ourselves.'

Sample on the road prices are: 1.4 CL 4/5 door and estate £12,280, 1.6 LX 4/5 door and estate and 1.6/1.8 Si five door and estate £13,390, 1.8 GTi five door and estate £14,490.

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