Fleet News

Ford-Jardine link could spark retail reform

THE face of UK motor retailing could fundamentally change if Ford pushes ahead with its plans to set up a joint dealership venture with Jardine Motors Group. The plans would see Ford buy a stake in Jardine's eight Ford dealerships, which trade primarily as Polar Motor Group and BPW Group.

In addition, an official statement from Ford declared: 'Ford and Jardine confirm that one option under consideration is a possible offer for Dagenham Motors.' Dagenham Motors runs 10 Ford dealerships in London and the south east, and its acquisition would give the joint venture a network of 18 franchised dealerships.

It would give Ford a significant presence in UK car retailing at a time when all manufacturers are facing the combined threat of renegotiating the Block Exemption - the rules which govern car makers' relationships with their dealerships in the European Union - and new car pricing pressures. As a result, manufacturers are reviewing their complete operations, with the sales process considered to be ripe for reform because it accounts for as much as 30% of the price of a new car.

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