Auckland, NEW ZEALAND, 7 November 2018 – Ford is continuing its drive for innovation that focuses on the consumer experience with two new-format dealer store openings in November. While very different in size, the two new Ford Stores have a similar but non-traditional take on what it means to be a Ford dealership.
Using the latest Ford global brand standards, the two new Ford Stores, on the North Shore in Auckland and on Wellington’s waterfront, are designed to optimise the Ford customer experience and cater to what Ford sees as a rapidly changing customer profile and diverse set of customer expectations.
Managing Director Simon Rutherford explains that when it comes to the Ford Consumer Experience, the Company and its dealers are transforming to meet and exceed customers’ expectations at all points.
“Looking at our business through the eyes of our customers, Ford has begun to transform its business across the shopping, buying and ownership experience,” said Mr Rutherford, Managing Director Ford New Zealand. “We recognise that customers want to enjoy a fun and rewarding experience when interacting with Ford and to also be in control. These two new stores are at the forefront of enabling that vision and represent a key element of our strategy to deliver a great experience across the many touchpoints in the Ford customer journey.”
“The two new Ford Stores embody Ford’s new direction aimed at meeting a drastically changing set of customer expectations, and better serve both the new-to-Ford customer as well as the loyal Ford customer and enhance both of their experiences along the way,” added Mr. Rutherford.
Ford acknowledges that when it comes to service, customers today compare all their experiences regardless of the product, service or industry. Customers will rate their Ford service experience against experiences across a broad range of industries; be it from the likes of Amazon, an Air New Zealand Koru lounge, or their favourite café.
“We are no longer just competing with the dealer across the road,” said Rutherford. “We compete on a service level with the concierge at a five star hotel or an Expert at an Apple Store. It’s requires a rethink on so many levels and people and process are key.”
“The Ford Store by North Harbour Ford and the Link Store by Capital City Ford are all about changing the way Ford interacts with customers. Both are ‘guest experiences’ and are no-pressure, no hassle environments where customers can explore our vehicles and services using digital aids at their own pace. The Stores are comfortable, welcoming and highly interactive, featuring many of the things customers would find in a comfortable, airline lounge or cafe,” added Rutherford.
The Ford Store by North Harbour Ford
Officially opening to the public on 10 November, the Ford Store by North Harbour Ford is the latest dealership from Automotive Holdings Group New Zealand.
The technology-led, custom-built 2,000mLoan-Cars climate-controlled showroom, that can comfortably house as many as 40 vehicles indoors.
“The concept behind the store revolves around the premise that visitors are not merely customers, but guests,” says Steve Fraser, North Harbour Ford Dealer Principal. “We designed the Store specifically around this notion, aiming to redefine the guest experience through a range of innovations, including transforming traditional sales roles into brand ambassador roles, removing desks from the showroom and equipping staff with iPads rather than desktop computers.”
The new design features Ford’s latest global retails standard, including bespoke furniture personally chosen by Elena A. Ford, Henry Ford’s great-great granddaughter and Vice President, Global Dealer and Consumer Experience of Ford Motor Company.
Supported by Ford New Zealand and Ford Asia Pacific, The Ford Store by North Harbour Ford will include interactive and touchscreen technology allowing guests to build, customise and compare their own Ford vehicles.
Ford Link by Capital City Ford
Located on the ground floor of Wellington’s new waterfront PWC Centre, the Ford Link will have a welcoming café-like ambience, enjoying uninterrupted light and views of the inner harbour.
“The intention of the Ford Link Store was to create a retail experience that would appeal and be convenient to Wellingtonians working in the CBD or enjoying our waterfront,” said Matt Carman, Capital City Ford Dealer Principal.
New Locations Supported by Broader Customer Service Campaign
Ford General Marketing Manager, Cameron Thomas, says the launch of the two new stores is part of the larger consumer experience initiative launched last year.
“The two new Ford locations are backed by our recent launch of major consumer service initiatives at dealerships around the country,” said Thomas. “These actions invite people to not only rethink their Ford experience but also it sends a very clear signal that Ford is changing the way we do business and improving the Ford customer experience.”
Ford’s new customer service initiatives are available to eligible customers at participating Ford dealers and include:
New Five Year Warranty All new Ford vehicles now come with a Five Year Warranty.
Extended Roadside AssistanceExtended-Roadside-Assistance Receive 12 month’s extended roadside assistance with every standard service – even after the completion of the standard 3 year roadside assistance.
Loan CarsLoan-Cars Customers booking in their Ford for any scheduled service, will also now be able to book a late model Ford loan car. Ford will offer its customers service loan cars with every scheduled service beginning this month, as the company continues to make major investments to transform its dealership experience and make it easier for customers to buy and service vehicles.
Ford MapCareFord-MapCare As part of a regular annual service at a Ford dealer, Ford customers with SYNC3 will receive free updated SATNAV maps as part of the service.
Ford Vehicle Report Card Customers will be able to more easily understand more about the condition of their vehicle thanks to an easy to follow one page report. A vehicle report card, provided free with each service, keeps the customer up to date with the condition of key maintenance items like brakes, tyres and the vehicle’s battery, and provides transparency on cost and required repairs.