- Ford’s state-of-the-art ‘Showroom of the Future’ is the first of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere and only the third in the world, giving customers an engaging sales and service experience like never before
- New technology initiatives will put Australian consumers in control at every point of the purchasing and servicing experience while unique service offerings such as the Free Loan Car program will continue
- Ford engaged Fitch Design, of Nike and Apple Store fame, to review the current Ford Showroom design, including conducting 62 dealer interviews globally to honour the heritage and legacy of the Ford brand
- Ford announced an increased Australian R&D investment of $450 million in 2017 to support increased vehicle development programs. By this year, Ford will have a nearly 2,000 person strong team in Australia, including 1750 engineers, designers and technicians
MELBOURNE, July 21, 2017 – Ford and the Bayford Group have opened the ‘Showroom of the Future’ in Epping after extensive research into the customer sales and service experience. The consolidation of the Coburg and Epping sites underpins the emphasis on combining sales and service into one convenient and well-connected experience.
The vibrant, innovative and digitally-connected showroom features engaging experiences to ensure the consumer is in control at every step of their Ford ownership journey. The new purposeful technology is not just there to catch the eye, but to enhance the overall customer appeal.
Pioneering the development and attending the opening was Elena A. Ford, who leads the company’s Global Dealer and Consumer Experience team, which is designed to accelerate the simplification and streamlining of Ford’s interaction with customers inside dealerships and at automotive and consumer shows around the world.
The Showroom of the Future concept is the product of Ford’s Global Interior Refresh Program.
“Every automaker is striving to unlock long-term customer loyalty but Ford is focused on connecting with consumers on their terms and building an experience they will love, regardless of where they meet us,” said Ford.
100 years of service
The Bayford name is synonymous among Victorians, having now been a part of the automotive industry landscape for 100 years. After working at the Ford Motor Company in America, Dick Bayford returned to Melbourne and established a car sales and service dealership in Fitzroy in 1917. Bayford went on to become one of Ford Australia’s first vehicle retailers when it formed in Australia in 1925.
As Australia’s longest operating, family-owned motor vehicle dealership, Bayford Group has grown dramatically over the years. From a single franchise employing 60 people, Bayford Group now operates ten sites and employs hundreds of employees, delivering in excess of 1000 new and used vehicles to Australians each month.
“It’s a great honour to be chosen as the first site in Australia, and one of the first in the world, to receive this amazing refresh. It’s a testament to our strong relationship with the Ford brand,” said David Blackwood, Dealer Principal, Bayford Ford Epping.
A New Standard the World Over
Engaging Fitch Design, who are known for their work on Nike and Apple stores, Ford reviewed current showrooms and conducted 62 dealer interviews globally with the aim of capturing the heritage aspect and community feel of the Ford brand the world over.
The new interior and exterior concept will become a standard globally, while for now Epping customers will be the first in Australia to interact with the more contemporary spaces. Giving the showroom a community feel, a social area is available for consumers, sales and service people to connect in a relaxed and practical atmosphere.
With the aim to ‘Go Further’, guests are welcomed on arrival and greeted with hospitality gestures like a complimentary cafe and breakfast bar, kids’ play room, movie cinema and complementary Wi-Fi throughout the complex.
The Plan to Expand
By 2021, 90 percent of Ford’s local customer base will be covered by a total of 90 stores having been refreshed. Using a blend of the best of bricks-and-mortar retailing with web-based innovations, these showrooms will make it easier than ever before for customers to buy and service vehicles.
“This is an exciting time at Ford as we transform our dealerships while launching a record number of new vehicles – all to make consumers’ lives better and easier throughout their sales and ownership experience,” said Graeme Whickman, CEO and President, Ford of Australia.
“It allows the customer to be in control and showcase the vehicles in a unique and stimulating way, whilst providing customers with purposeful technology to enhance their experience,” added Whickman.
Tech Bar showcases Purposeful Technology
Dealers now have the option to instantly change branding on display around their showroom thanks to a cloud based media system – meaning no more printed posters. Furthermore, current model information is easily accessible and customizable through a new digital content distribution platform.
The rationale behind the ‘tech-bar’ is to create a web-based experience inside the showroom, giving customers the chance to interact with their dream vehicle guided by an experienced Ford sales person.
Going Further for Australia and Australian Customers
In December 2016, Ford announced an increased Australian R&D investment to $450 million in 2017 to support increased vehicle development programs. By this year, Ford will have a nearly 2,000 person strong team in Australia, including 1750 engineers, designers and technicians.