Ford, long-time leader of the UK market for new cars, is in danger of losing customers after a series of recent price rises.
The increases have added thousands to the asking price of some of its cars during the past 12 months and, as Autocar has learned, traditional Ford buyers are now considering leaving the brand.
Potential Ford buyers were asked if they were planning to replace their cars this year, and 60 per cent said they were surprised by the price rises, while 40 per cent said it would put them off buying a car.
Ford ‘realigned’ its prices four times during 2009, and again on 1 January this year, when the government’s VAT rate increased. It blames the plummeting value of sterling versus the euro (the pound has lost 30 per cent of its value against the euro since 2007).
However, by comparing January 2010 prices with those of September 2009 on three randomly selected models, we found that Ford’s average asking price for a new car has risen by 5.3 per cent in the past six months. A Ford Focus 1.6 TDCi Titanium is 6.2 per cent (£1250) more expensive this month than it was in September last year.
Using the same random comparisons, we discovered that Vauxhall’s prices have risen by 3.9 per cent over the same period, and Volkswagen’s by 4.2 per cent.
Ford started a campaign earlier this month that offers up to £5000 off the list price of every Zetec model in its range until the end of March, taking the price of a Galaxy Zetec from £26,145 to £21,495. Ford of Britain MD Nigel Sharp said "We are determined to provide the best possible value to our customers."
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