- Senior business and IT managers from Ford’s 500-strong UK dealer network have taken part in the company's Profitability and Technology Conference, which explored new opportunities to improve efficiency and customer communication through the use of cutting edge technology and software applications.
More than 100 Ford dealers took part in the conference at Henry Ford College in Loughborough, with presentations from international high-technology company, Google, and leading automotive advisor, Grant Thornton, as well as exhibitions from Purchase Direct, GForces and Snap-on. The conference also marked the start of collaboration between Ford and UK experts in energy efficiency, the Carbon Trust.
Miles Maiklem, Ford of Britain market representation and business manager, said: “Ford’s second dealer profitability and technology conference proved another great success for our dealer network. The theatre presentations and supplier interaction were inspiring and well received – illustrating the benefits of increasing efficiency and reducing costs through the use of technology and online resources.”
Belinda Poole, senior industry head, Google Automotive, said: “It is important that Ford’s dealers concentrate on providing an enjoyable and positive online experience as well as good customer service, both pre- and post-transaction.
“The majority of customers carry out their car-buying research online and will decide on their desired make and model before ever stepping into a dealership. One of the most exciting changes Google has witnessed in recent years is the fact that over 20 per cent of internet car searches on Google now occur on a mobile or tablet-based device.”
Ford is continuing to reduce the environmental impact of its vehicles and manufacturing sites, and is now working closely with the Carbon Trust to reduce the carbon footprint of Ford’s UK dealer network.
The collaboration will see the implementation of new energy efficient technology and eco-friendly processes into dealerships that will help to deliver optimum results.
Working with the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), the Carbon Trust identified that many car dealerships can make cost savings of up to 10 per cent. The installation of new energy-efficient lighting, heating, ventilation and cooling can vastly reduce a dealer’s carbon footprint and the returns on investment can be surprisingly quick.
Mark Ovenden, Ford of Britain managing director, said: “In a challenging economy, the opportunity for improving energy efficiency and reducing costs is important to Ford, its dealers, and the UK motor industry as a whole. We are looking forward to working with the Carbon Trust to deliver Ford of Britain’s lowest ever carbon footprint.”