Advertisement feature from Ford Fleet Management
Newly created leasing company is for all car and van makes, not just Ford
Ford Fleet Management (FFM) is looking to establish itself among the top 10 leasing companies in the UK with a focus on specialist knowledge, vehicles, connectivity and support.
FFM was created in summer 2020 when Ford and ALD Automotive signed a shareholder agreement to create a new integrated all-makes leasing and fleet management business.
The company has been up and running since the start of 2021 and John Wright, its managing director, says the new company has big ambitions to build the business over the next five years.
Wright says: “We should be troubling the top 10 of the FN50, but it’s not just about adding volume for the sake of it.
“We’re being very tailored and specific with our services and thinking, rather than trying to be all things to all people.”
Wright explains that FFM can leverage the strengths of both shareholders with Ford’s brand presence and market leadership in light commercial vehicles (LCVs), as well as ALD’s fleet management, leasing and funding expertise.
He says: “We can offer flexibility and consultative advice on pressing issues like switching to electric vehicles (EVs), without the baggage that comes with being a large organisation.”
Being a specialist for all-makes van customers, FFM has a particular focus on exacting customer requirements, including facilitation of LCV conversions.
FFM’s team, based at Ford’s Dunton headquarters, helps fleets manage their vehicles, aiming to keep them on the road.
The latest connectivity through factory-fit telematics on new Ford products, alongside the ability to fit plug-in telematics to any make or model, helps to intelligently connect and manage the fleet.
Wright says: “We’re really getting into detail with customers on how they can keep their fleet moving.
“With a greater level of connectivity, we can be prognostic and proactively manage off-road incidents.”
Fleet managers can customise how hands-on they would like to be by looking at data from their connected fleet, with access to real-time dashboards to see what’s happening with vehicles at a glance.
FFM’s team will interpret the data and turn it into something actionable. Then it’s up to individual fleet managers.
Wright says part of what makes FFM unique is building its aftersales model on being able to offer a flexible mix of out-of-hours and mobile servicing.
It means maintenance work can be scheduled at a fleet’s convenience, with around 90% of jobs completed remotely.
On rare occasions when a replacement vehicle is needed, FFM has invested in a flexible leasing fleet that offers specialist LCV vehicles like ambulances, cherry pickers and tippers.
The Road to Zero
Electrification is a key conversation that many fleets are having and FFM offers an EV consultancy service that can help look at total cost of ownership (TCO) to determine how best to transition to EVs.
Wright says: “Products like Ford’s E-Transit are hitting the sweet spot with up to 217 miles of range.
“But the key is to make sure that range is utilised intelligently and we’re working on depot charging solutions that will be really important for the future.”
FFM’s offering includes more traditional funding options like contract hire, short term rental, as well as the option for sale and leaseback, but it can also facilitate flexible contracts on three-to-12-month terms on a ‘try before you buy’ basis.
Wright says: “Try before you buy
means organisations can run EVs for
an extended period to see how they’re absorbed into their fleets with a much lower level of commitment.
“It’s just one of the many ways we’re working with customers on a consultative basis, creating tailored products and talking to customers about their needs.”
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