Dagenham Motors has invested more than £500,000 adopting Ford's new retail concept at its dealership in Plaistow, east London.
The new concept involves showroom changes designed to make the customer buying process easier and more enjoyable. It also revamps the aftersales department, which features fixed prices and full explanation of repair work.
A Ford spokeswoman was unable to comment on the details of the retail concept, but did confirm that all franchised dealers would be expected to invest in the changes.
“Ford will make an announcement within the next month,” she said.
Dagenham Motors, part of the Ford/Lancaster owned Polar Motor Group, is the first dealer to adopt the new “stress-free” corporate style, designed to increase business from retail customers.
Bob Grant, Dagenham Motors group operations director, confirmed that the company's other 23 Ford dealerships in the South-east would be developed over the next three years as part of a multi-million pound investment.
“Our new customer-friendly approach is intended to provide Ford customers with a comfortable, clearly laid-out retailing environment that will make it easy for them to learn about our products and services,” he said.
Central to the new approach is the showroom environment. Customers have easier access to product information and new 'spec pods' containing model details. Ford wants to create an environment where customers are encouraged to take their time browsing the cars, without feeling pressured to make a purchase.
Dagenham's service advice centre has been developed to offer customers reassurance about repair work. Explanation of the work and charges involved will help to counter the aftersales sector's poor public image.