Ford dealers are preparing for a new programme that could potentially drive tens of thousands of existing Ford drivers back through their doors.
Motorists with Ford cars up to 12 years old are now being offered a new service that, according to the Blue Oval manufacturer, could cut their fuel bills by a quarter.
More importantly for dealers it will target current Ford owners who are unlikely to still be in dealer databases, encouraging them to visit their dealer to have a new Econo Check.
Ford is just completing a series of national meetings designed to prepare dealers for the new project, which will be backed by a major cross-media marketing campaign aimed at both corporate and retail customers.
“The reaction from our dealers has been very positive,” said Andy Barratt, Ford customer service director. “Some even want to put their own fleet through the programme.”
The programme will see Ford dealers offer an Econo Check service for £30, which will come with a £15 voucher refundable against the next scheduled service.
Technicians will carry out a 15-minute check on the car or van (LCVs will generally only qualify if they are four years old or younger) including tyre pressure and condition and oil and air filter cleanliness.
They will also fit a data logger to the vehicle’s diagnostic port, which remains in the cabin for seven days.
Either the dealer or the customer will detach the logger after the week and return it by post to Ford.
Data on the logger will reveal enough information on driving speed, anticipation, braking and gear change to create a personalised report, which will be emailed to the customer.
The emailed Econo Check report will recommend driving style adjustments that could reduce fuel consumption and emissions by up to 25%.
Recommendations could also include eco driver training, which could be provided through Ford’s driver training partner, the AA.
They could also include a recommendation to upgrade to a new Ford Econetic car.
“The primary function of this is to what it says on the tin – to help change driving styles so drivers can become greener and save money,” says Barrett.
“There is a huge parc of vehicles out there that can have the Econo Check – we are the only manufacturer to offer this service to so many owners, almost regardless of their vehicles' age.”
The programme will be pilot tested in the UK before being rolled out across Europe.