The Industry's Leading Source For F&I, Sales And Technology

Top News

Ford Executives Courting New-Car Dealers

June 4, 2001

For the last three or four years, Ford Motor Co. and its dealers have seen record profits - and some real rancor, according to a June 4 story in the Dallas Morning News.

The dealers, angered by Ford's sometimes ham-fisted attempts to reshape the retail process, ranked the automaker in last place in 1999 in an annual industry survey of dealer attitudes. Last year, Ford moved up to 30th among 34 manufacturers worldwide.

In a conciliatory move, six top executives, including Jacques Nasser, Ford president and CEO, will fly to Dallas, New York, Chicago and Atlanta beginning June 6 for meetings with dealers.

Although most of the Ford's recent retail initiatives were described as experiments, they left many of the corporation's 8,100 dealers with the feeling that Ford was looking for alternatives to traditional car dealers. But most of those initiatives have either failed or fallen short.

"The Internet is behind a lot of what is going on," noted David Hyatt, executive director of public affairs for the National Automobile

Dealers Association (NADA). "Manufacturers were experimenting with different ways to sell cars... What has happened in the last 18 months is new-car dealers have transformed themselves into click-and-brick retailers, where over 90 percent have Web sites. I think the manufacturers have been impressed at how well these guys have survived," Hyatt said.

Your Comment

Please note that comments may be moderated. 
Leave this field empty:
Your Name:  
Your Email: