Currently reading: Ford's price rises dent reputation
Ford's continued price hikes are turning loyal buyers away from the brand

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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dinp 1 March 2010

Re: Ford buyers 'deserting brand'

I know list prices are for haggling against, but even after that, new Fords are now far less competitive than they were a year or so ago. I've been provisionally looking at superminis, Punto, Polo, Ibiza, Fiesta etc, mainly the top end petrol models and taking all things into consideration (performance, economy, equipment, cost, looks, dynamics, build quality, residuals), the Ford doesn't seem to be the wisest buy. Before these price increases, it made a very good case for itself.

A lot is said of recent Fords being far better dynamically and that build quality is good too. I'd challenge the build quality front, my 2008 (last of the old shape) Fiesta Zetec-S creaks like a car of its age shouldn't, it drives me mad and the dealers have been hopeless at finding the source(s), hence the early search for a replacement. So far the Polo in 1.2TSi form seems to be the wisest overall buy; well it will be in a year's time when i'm looking and its not a brand new model any more.

Even the Punto Evo seems a little on the pricey side as its new, but give it a few months and it'll be thousands cheaper than a Fiesta, and it has much better engines now.

Buzz Cagney 19 February 2010

Re: Ford buyers 'deserting brand'

Whilst I find your post of interest, I would still encourage people to buy from a manufacturer that has made a full commitment to the UK.

I am now, and was then, deeply disappointed at Ford abandoning the UK as a proper Full Manufacturing base. They have been happy to exploit the title of Britains Top Selling make, but walked away when financially it suited them to do so. The chickens have certainly come home to roost on that piece of decision making.

I drive a Ford, but feel no loyalty to the badge. About the same as their attitude to the UK i would say.

stuart74 19 February 2010

Re: Ford buyers 'deserting brand'

Buzz Cagney wrote:
Remember, you need to buy a Nissan, Honda, Toyota or Vauxhall if you want to protect British jobs.

Nissan - employ around 4,500 in the UK

Honda - employ around 5,000 in the UK

Toyota - employ around 4,000 in the UK

Vauxhall - employ around 4,700 in UK

Ford - employ around 13,000 in the UK

Surely based on your theory you should also be saying 'buy Ford if you want to protect British Jobs'? Whilst the number employed has certainly dropped, they are still a huge contributor to the UK motor industry.