PARIS -- Ford's dealer network in Europe is still "oversized" and will have to shrink in coming years, a top company executive said.
"Overall our dealer network is oversized, we have to restructure," Martin Sander, head of Ford's passenger car business in Europe, told the Automotive News Europe Congress here on Wednesday.
Ford is exiting market segments such as small and compact cars in Europe as it focuses on SUVs and crossovers that have higher profit margins, reducing its need for a large dealership network that was set up to deal with volume sales.
"Our ideal network is smaller than today but still large enough to serve our customers everywhere in Europe," Sander said. Some markets already have the right network in place to sell smaller volumes, while others "still have work to do," he said.
"We have discussed this with the dealers. They know what is coming," Sanders said.
In the U.K., Ford’s largest European market, the U.S. automaker shed 20 dealerships in 2022 and 25 in 2021 according to data compiled by Car Dealer. Ford still has the U.K.'s largest dealer network.