Ford to cut its big discounts
The company is embarking on a series of changes in the way it does business to strengthen resale values, something it sees as key to competing with the likes of VW in the private and fleet sales markets.
Changes include offering smaller discounts on list prices, building waiting lists on cars, so that it isn't forced to sell unsold stock cheap, selling fewer cars to rental and other fleet companies and managing sales of nearly new cars more closely.
'We've had this terrible discount philosophy, and it must end,' said Sharp. 'You can't make the change at the flick of a light switch, but we are at the start of the journey. It requires a mindset change by everyone, but it will pay dividends for us as a business and customers in the long run.'
Sharp added that valuation expert CAP had already rated the new Focus's three-year residual value at 6% above the out-going car's, but added: 'That figure is not the end of the story. It depends how we behave and how the customer reacts, but I can see us strengthening that position again in time.'