Having always been a big fan of Fords, and having raced and rallied plenty of them in my time, I’ve always had a good relationship with my local Ford dealer, and most importantly the people who work there.
So when I was asked to host the launch of the new Ford Store, one of only a handful of locations throughout the UK handed the prestigious role of selling the marque’s ‘special’ vehicles (namely Mustang and Focus RS), as part of a radio promotion with KCFM, you couldn’t get me there quick enough.
Not only was I joined in the impressive new showroom by a host of very special vehicles, from an evocative 1916 Ford Model T to the fire-breathing Ford GT supercar, I was also honoured to be introducing two heavyweights in the UK motor industry.
Managing Director and Chairman of Ford Motor Company UK, Andy Barratt joined Pendragon Group’s Chief Operating Officer, Martin Casha in unveiling the flagship Ford Store, and I was delighted to discover that they both have local stories. Pendragon, in fact has its roots right here in my home town of Hull. Which is very inspiring.
The motor industry is very cut-throat, and I’m looking forward to seeing Ford’s ‘unlearn’ marketing campaign run through to their culture, allowing them to slow things down a little, and let Ford’s heritage and sporting pedigree shine through.
There are some massive opportunities for exploiting content and engagement which companies like Ford, and Pendragon should be leading on. If their respective bosses are anything to go by, they’ve certainly got the vision right at the top, so it’s surely only a matter of time. Read my LOCO Magazine column, HERE to see more of my thoughts on car dealer marketing and engagement.
It certainly looks like they’re going the right way about it, and Evans Halshaw’s considerable investment in the Hull site shows real vision – there’s a big following for the brand round here, and I an in no doubt whatsoever that we will see more and more Mustangs and RS models on East Yorkshire roads as a result of this exciting move.
I’ll leave you with my gallery of photos from the event, and also a quick video blog I produced to give you a snap shot of the new Ford Store, together with Evans Halshaw’s own video from the event.
A huge congratulations and good luck to Steve Spicer, Dealer Principal and the rest of the team in Hull. Thanks for asking me to be involved!