Ford is to launch a new service aimed at both fleet and private customers designed to help them cut fuel consumption from their Ford vehicles by up to 25%.
The new service – Ford Econo Check – will be available on any Ford car up to 12 years old and Ford vans up to four years old, although some older LCVs may also be eligible.
There are two parts to the £30 service – although fleets will be offered an alternative pricing structure – which provides a vehicle inspection and analysis of driving style and advice on how to improve fuel economy.
A Ford dealer will carry out a vehicle check looking at areas such as tyres, oil and air filter cleanliness.
The dealer will also fit a small data logger to the vehicle’s diagnostic connection, which remains in the cabin for a week.
The logger is returned by post and the data on driving speed, anticipation, braking and gear change are downloaded by Ford.
The data is then used to create a personalised report which is emailed back to the driver or fleet manager and will contain recommendations on driving style adjustments that could lead to reduced fuel consumption and emissions.
In an exclusive interview, Andy Barratt, Ford director for customer service, explained how the new programme will work.
“We have done a number of pilot tests and believe the Econo Check could save up to 25% on fuel.”
Ford is working on getting the data to and from fleet managers via a secure internet link to remove the need to use the postal system.
In addition, it is likely that fleets will be able to use the loggers for longer so on-going monitoring of driver behaviour and styles can be achieved rather than just the snapshot the system will initially provide.
In addition, while the system offers tips on how to improve driving styles, Ford is exploring offering driver training through the programme.
Ford will pilot the initiative in the UK before rolling it out across Europe.
"Ford is first in offering an Econo Check to so many owners, almost regardless of their vehicles' age,” said Barrett.
“The Blue Oval brand already includes a range of product choices for customers prioritising the environment, such as ECOnetic diesel models and EcoBoost petrol-engined vehicles. Now our dealers' service departments are helping to cut running costs on Ford models by smarter driving.”