It means the carmaker will have removed some 12,000 cars from short-term fleets over the past couple of years, all of which have been absorbed into the private market.
This policy, combined with growing retail demand for its newest models like the Mondeo, has helped Ford to reduce its overall sales to the fleet market from 70% of total units sold to 65% – the equivalent of almost 20,000 cars.
Roelant de Waard, Ford UK managing director, said: “This is down to fair pricing, product appeal and our kinetic design.
“Each new vehicle gives us an opportunity to get out of the daily rental market.”
In the first two months of 2008, Ford’s private/user-chooser sales increased by 18.4% year-on-year, from 10,250 to 12,136, while fleet sales dropped by 18%, or 5,481 units.
Helping this swing is the fact that the dealer network is selling twice as many new Mondeos to the retail market than the old model.
“We are running at full capacity on Mondeo so volumes are limited; we could sell more if we had them,” said de Waard.
“That means we want to be selling the highest series models – more than 50% are in a higher trim - for the best profits for us and dealers. “There are no incentives to discount the cars.”