Currently reading: Ford backs European franchise dealers in agency U-turn
Company will maintain traditional dealer model with assistance of data-sharing – but will downsize network

Ford has backed down on plans to implement the agency sales model across its European retail network, sticking with franchises but downsizing its dealer network to reflect its lower sales aspirations.

Ford had planned to roll out agency – or direct sales – across Europe following a trial in the Netherlands last year, as part of its transition to a higher-priced model line-up with more of a focus on profit than volume.

The move was planned to give Ford more control over pricing and to facilitate a more direct relationship between it and its customers. It would also have allowed for the brand to introduce a more consistent approach to marketing, strategy and messaging across all its retailers.

Revealing the plans to Autocar last year, Ford of Europe boss Martin Sander said: "Agency is definitely the way to go.

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