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Ford announces lifetime capped-price servicing

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Lifetime capped-price servicing arrives in February amid customer service overhaul. 

Ford Australia is aiming to boost the satisfaction of its customers with a significantly revised approach to new car sales and servicing. 

Having benchmarked innovative – but non-automotive – brands like Starbucks and Apple, the Blue Oval brand intends to make its ownership experience easier and more fun,  and challenge the likes of Toyota for ownership benefits. 

From February, Ford’s existing seven-year capped-price servicing plan will expand to cover the lifetime of all Ford models built since 2007 - removing much of the guesswork from the cost of car ownership. 

The move follows Ford’s recent introduction of capped price brake pad replacement, which has also reduced the average cost brake pad replacement by 25 per cent.

Ford is second only to Hyundai in offering lifetime capped-price servicing, with the Korean brand introducing a scheme in August that covers every Hyundai sold in Australia since the brand was introduced in 1986.

Ford’s expanded capped-servicing plan coincides with the rollout of redesigned “dealerships of the future”, which are aimed at adding joy to the new car buying process, and retaining customers with streamlined servicing procedures.

we are investing in technology on the dealership floor to give customers the most personalised, transparent experience possible

“Innovation is at the forefront of design in all of our vehicles, so we are investing in technology on the dealership floor to give customers the most personalised, transparent experience possible,” Ford Australia’s Marketing, Sales and Service boss Graeme Whickman said. 

Key to Ford’s intended experience is the implementation of a concierge as the first point of contact when entering a showroom, emulating the experience offered by luxury hotels and more recently by banks and other similar retailers. 

If directed to sales staff, the potential Ford customer will be walked through the shopping experience with the assistance of iPad mobile apps to help choose a vehicle best suited to their needs. 

The process also covers test drives, with product information delivered via the car’s SYNC multimedia interface and answering voice-activated questions asked by the driver. 

After a customer places an order for a new vehicle, they can be kept up to date with the vehicle’s delivery progress via email and sms updates, before being presented with their car in the dealership with a motorshow-style silk cover unveiling.

Customer service apps and email and SMS notifications are also part of Ford’s rejigged servicing experience, along with online service scheduling and a 24/7 customer relationship centre.  

Customers taking advantage of the capped-price servicing (excluding FPV and Transit Custom models and up to 7 years/105,000km) will also receive a 12-month membership to the relevant automobile club in their state.  

More than 20 dealers across Sydney and Melbourne have already adopted Ford’s new showroom and service style, with a further 60 across Australia due by the end of 2015. 

Malcolm Flynn
Editor
Back when all cars burned fuel and couldn't drive themselves, Mal was curing boredom by scanning every car his parents' VB Commodore drove past. His childhood appreciation for the car world exploded during a three-year stint in the US, and serious questions were asked when he spent a good chunk of his uni career perfecting lap times at Wakefield Park. Mal got his big break scooping the VE II Commodore, before a stint at Overlander magazine and kicking off his online career with The Motor Report in its heyday. These days he's exactly the same height as Michael Schumacher and uses his powers for good at the helm of CarsGuide's editorial team. Mal proudly shuns brand allegiance and counts three young kids, an EH Holden, NA MX-5, KE20 Corolla, W116 Mercedes-Benz and the world's most versatile Toyota Echo among his personal stable. He also craves a Subaru Vortex, so get in touch if you know where to find one.  
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