Ford Motor Co.’s image and pricing in Germany need a boost if it wants to command more respect and expect to raise sales there. According to Stefanie Weiland (a car buyer and former owner of a Ford vehicle), Ford has a “deplorable” reputation. She is looking for a new car at the VW dealership, saying that its cars are “unbreakable.”
Ford CEO Alan Mulally wants to achieve in Germany what he was able to do in the U.S., which is to sell more vehicles by playing up fuel economy and technology such as voice-activated stereos.
Ford admits that its retail prices fell behind VW by an average of 6.3% in the last eight months. J.D. Power & Associates said that when it comes to sales, Ford is ranked No. 5 and its vehicles make up 7.5% of the German market. Meanwhile, Volkswagen has a 20.8% share.
The companies that did better than Ford are Mercedes Benz, BMW, Opel and Audi. To compete with VW, Ford is aiming to be known as a technology leader. It’s also promoting its ties to Germany.
This month, Ford gave iPads to 1,100 of its sales people in Germany. These devices were installed with a special Ford sales application that illustrates fuel-saving technology.
Jim Farley, Ford global marketing chief said that its stand at the Frankfurt auto show will be twice the size as before. It will put in a test track and hands-on displays that will make it appear like "an adult science museum."