Ford invades Europe!

We have been watching the progress of Ford Trucks with great interest. Back in July 2018, we met with the company, and heard all about its plans to take on the so-called “Seven Sisters” (the seven established European brands, Mercedes-Benz, MAN, Iveco, Renault, Scania, DAF and Volvo) in their own backyard – namely Europe.

To be frank, we wondered if the company could achieve its highly ambitious goals, but things appear to be very much on track.

Recently, Ford Trucks concluded a distribution partnership in Portugal. The first facility in Portugal was opened in Lisbon in partnership with Oneshop. The plan is to add four more major cities (Porto, Leira, Algarve and Viseu) to the Portuguese dealership network by 2021.

Then we attended the signing of a new distribution partnership in Spain. The company’s Spanish distributor, F-Trucks Automotive Hispania, will be operating from nine different locations. This was followed by an announcement that Ford Trucks had selected F-Trucks Italia as its official distributor in Italy.

According to Ford Otosan CEO Haydar Yenigün, the company is breaking the mould in the heavy commercial industry. “The Ford F-Max brought us the coveted 2019 International Truck of the Year award, winning acclaim for its engineering, design and power among its heavy commercial industry competitors.

Dignitaries gather after the signing of the agreement with the Italian distributor.

“We have already established our distributorship network across three continents (Asia, Europe and Africa), reaching 44 countries by the end of 2019. The high interest in F-Max led us to revise our global expansion plans, so we decided to shift gear and upgrade our goals, and now we aim to be present in at least 80 countries by the end of 2023,” he
tells FOCUS.

For now, however, the focus is very much on Europe – and taking market share away from the Seven Sisters. “Europe is our main export market and its potential is a key factor in our growth strategy. In terms of revenue, we aim for Europe to account for 50 percent of our international sales. We want to create close ties with our customers across Europe through the dealership network as well as through our aftersales services. Our recently concluded Europe-wide agreement with TIP Trailer Services gives us an opportunity to achieve complete customer satisfaction as we continue to expand,” adds Yenigün.

It certainly appears as though Ford has got its ducks in a row when it comes to its plan to conquer Europe. We’ve driven the F-Max, which is a brilliant truck, and – thanks to the agreement with TIP Trailer Services – a good warranty and excellent aftersales service is in place. Now the distribution network is growing…  As we’ve said before, we’d love to see Ford do the same in the southern African market one day…

Published by

Charleen Clarke

CHARLEEN CLARKE is editorial director of FOCUS. While she is based in Johannesburg, she spends a considerable amount of time overseas, attending international transport events – largely in her capacity as associate member of the International Truck of the Year Jury.
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