OSLO - Ford Motor Co. wants to consolidate its retail business in European cities, just as it has done in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in the USA.
'I would like to see a modern megadealer in a central location,' said Ingvar Sviggum, the new Ford sales director for European markets except Germany, the UK and Italy.
'There are too many dealers' in Europe, said Sviggum. 'I would like to see more dealers working together, and I am more interested in looking at business districts than at dealers. A more lean distribution for cars must include larger dealers or dealers working together - in one business area.'
In the USA, Ford failed to bring together the 21 dealers in Indianapolis and the 17 dealers in Salt Lake City, but last autumn it successfully made a deal with the six dealers in Tulsa. Tulsa has a population of about 730,000. Frankfurt, with a population of 660,000, has nine Ford dealers.
The six dealers in Tulsa will be Ford's partner in a joint venture that will replace six Ford dealerships and two Lincoln-Mercury dealerships with three superstores handling all brands, including Jaguar. Later, Mazda may be included. The enterprise will also establish three or four quick-service locations, and perhaps two big used-car centers.
Ford wants to go in the same direction in Europe, said Sviggum.
He said he dreams of a nice retail building with a Ford oval on top. 'And in the building you will find Ford under the blue color, Jaguar in green and Mazda in red. In the background you will find general offices for all three brands.'
Sviggum said consolidation in the markets will not be a means of saving weak dealers.
'Ford will not take over dealers because they do not make money or are close to bankruptcy,' he said. 'We are interested in the larger dealers that make money and sell many cars.'