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Ford to Push Value Message

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Ford to Push Value Message

By Byron Pope

WardsAuto.com, May 14, 2010 4:21 PM

Ford Motor Co. will trumpet the skyrocketing residual value of its vehicles with an aggressive marketing campaign, a senior executive says.

According to the Automotive Lease Guide’s latest Perceived Quality Score survey, Ford was the most improved brand, showing a 7.6% improvement since fall 2009.

The average residual value of a Ford vehicle improved $2,420 compared with year-ago, according to ALG. The industry-wide average increase was $615.

“Resale value is absolutely central to explaining to customers that Ford represents the best value in the market, and we expect to leverage (that message) extensively,” Jim Farley, group vice president-global marketing, says today in a conference call with reporters.

ALG attributes Ford’s gain in residual value to three factors: improved vehicle quality and well-received new products; avoiding bankruptcy and emergency taxpayer-backed financing, unlike its domestic competitors; and limiting incentive spending and sales to daily rental fleets.

Farley says Ford will begin driving home this message this summer by providing ammunition to its dealers.

“We are updating all of our dealer-education material and our point-of-sale material, especially on (Ford) Fusion,” he says. “We’re going to have a real large training event in the third-quarter around the ’11 Fusion, and that will include the resale message as a key point.”

The Fusion is a particularly important vehicle to Ford, Farley says. “As Fusion goes, so does the company’s reputation,” he adds.

Ford chief marketer Jim Farley says residual values important to consumers.

And with every advertising dollar spent to promote the Fusion “the brand health gets better,” he says.

Through April, Fusion sales are up 50.4% vs. year-ago to 70,382 units, according to Ward’s data.



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Ford’s rising residuals central to new marketing blitz

Jamie LaReau

Automotive News -- May 14, 2010 - 4:04 pm ET

DETROIT -- Ford division plans to launch a marketing campaign in July to tout the improved resale values of its vehicles.

Ford also will train dealers this fall to push higher resale values.

In fresh data from Automotive Lease Guide, Ford posted the largest increase of any automaker in ALG’s Perceived Quality Study between fall 2009 and spring 2010. The score measures how consumers view product quality. Honda was No. 1.

Ford’s higher scores mean higher residual values for its vehicles.

“The perception of our quality and the perception of our company have huge impacts on our customers,” Jim Farley, Ford Motor Co. group vice president of global marketing, said during a media call today. “It has a huge benefit to our company from a business standpoint because we can eliminate the discount and get back to pricing on quality and parity.”

ALG’s chief economist, Matt Traylen, said Ford’s average car resale value was up by $2,400 from 2009 to 2010. The numbers exclude light-truck values.

Traylen credited the higher resale values and quality perception in part to Ford’s avoiding a federal bailout. Also, the automaker restyled the 2010 Fusion and Taurus sedans.

Supply and demand

Farley said Ford is controlling production to match supply with demand, which increases resale values.

Toyota slipped in the study’s rankings from first to sixth, Traylen said. That’s largely due to Toyota’s recall of 8 million vehicles early this year because of unintended acceleration.

Ford will tout its improved resale values in summer and fall advertising on TV and radio, online and in print, Farley said.

Ford will update dealer brochures starting in July to highlight improved resale values.

“We feel the dealerships are the best places to tell the story in detail,” Farley said.

Ford will host a “large training event” for dealers in the third quarter. The event is centered on the 2011 Fusion, but it also will coach dealers to promote resale values to customers and to teach them about new vehicle technology, Farley said.

Read more: http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20100514/RETAIL03/100519904/1254#ixzz0nwZ3anN2

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