Nick Themistocleous, fleet director of Ford of Britain, spoke to Fleet News about what he thinks 2015 has in store.
Fleet News: What are your expectations for the rest of 2015?
Nick Themistocleous: We see the fleet market continuing to grow in 2015 in line with the recovery of the broader economy. Last year we launched our full range of new commercial vehicles as well as the new Focus and new Mondeo – with these vehicles now fully up to speed we are optimistic for 2015.
FN: Are you introducing, or have you recently introduced, any new initiatives for fleets?
NT: In 2015 we introduced Ford Telematics, a plug-and-play system that does not require cutting or splicing any wiring for installation. Ford Telematics uses real-time information streamed from each vehicle to enable fleet managers to track vehicle location, fuel consumption, driver behaviour, and provide safety and maintenance alerts.
Businesses receive direct access to vehicle diagnostic information, providing increased opportunities to control costs and improve driver safety. Vehicle operators can now plan maintenance schedules that correspond to real-time vehicle health status, and receive notice for unplanned servicing to minimise downtime, lower potential repair costs and increase overall productivity.
The telematics system’s ability to access proprietary Ford vehicle data enables operators to track details such as oil change warnings, water contamination in diesel fuel, tyre pressure, safety belt usage and airbag status.
Based on the real-time data, the Ford Telematics powered by Telogis software platform delivers a range of actionable business information that enables fleet managers to operate their vehicles in the most efficient way and to help ensure drivers are following safe and economical driving practices.
Additionally, the same Telogis hardware can be fitted to any other vehicles on the fleet, regardless of manufacturer, allowing fleet managers to view the whole fleet in one place.
FN: What new fleet models are you due to launch this year?
NT: Ford has a range of new introductions in the balance of 2015. On existing vehicles, we have a new more powerful twin turbo 207 bhp diesel engine for the Mondeo. The New C-MAX and C-MAX Grand will arrive in shows in August, with a more premium exterior design and simplified interior. In September we will launch the All-New S-MAX and Galaxy – both available for the first time with 4WD and engines that offer more power and lower CO2 than their predecessors.
Towards the end of the year we will launch the new Ranger, new Edge and the new right-hand drive European specification Mustang, available with both 5.0l V8 and 2.3l turbocharged engines in coupe and convertible form.