…Our major concern is the fate of our customers
Meanwhile, R.T. Briscoe Plc have stated in unequivocal terms that, it has no regrets so far losing the 11-year old business relationship with the Ford Motor Company under its BriscoeFord automotive subsidiary of the public quoted company on the Nigerian Stock Exchange.
In a swift reaction to the announcement by the Ford Motor Company, South Africa recently, Eguaikhide Olorunfemi, General Manager BriscoeFord disclosed that the severance of existing dealership with the Automaker was the culmination of long period of operational challenges by the local dealership franchisee for a long period of time.
According to the general manager, he said, ‘’We want to state categorically that we have no regrets whatsoever exiting the Ford dealership business in Nigeria. We had since activated our exit plan when the signs became clear to us that medium to long term profitability could not be guaranteed despite all the huge challenges we face daily running the Ford dealership in Nigeria to ensure customer satisfaction.’’
He stated that fundamentally, BriscoeFord’s primary concern has been to do everything it can to ensure that this exit does not affect loyal RT Briscoe Ford customers due to their long term faith and confidence in the company’s brand legacy spanning over 60 years old in the Nigerian Auto industry.
As part of the transition process, he disclosed that RT Briscoe have prior to the latest development asked Ford Motors to work with it in taking actions required to resolve the following challenges facing its customers in Nigeria apart from the casual instruction to direct them to the other dealer in the market.
In the face of the sudden disengagement of relationship as announced by Ford Motor Company, South Africa, Olorunfemi is asked;, ‘’What happens to our current stock of 60 new vehicles amounting to over N500m and stock of spare parts amounting to about N100m. We have over 90 vehicles belonging to our valued customers currently in our workshops awaiting warranty approvals and repairs which have been duly communicated to Ford and for which no response has been receive.’’
Presently, RT Briscoe has a total of 24 Ford Focus vehicles with faulty semi-automatic transmission systems and Ford has not been able to give us support to carry out repairs which is however not peculiar to the Nigerian market.
‘’It is in public domain that Ford Focus and Fiesta models are having this challenge globally and as at date, no permanent fix has been deployed for Dealers to implement.’’ He added.
The general manager said that, there are over nine law suits from some aggrieved customers seeking or demanding for one form of compensation or the other and these cases have been reported to Ford, but no serious response has been received to date.
There are cases of customers who purchased the ESP package from BriscoeFord from October 2015 to June 30th 2016 under the promo, but were denied registration by Ford. These customers currently cannot enjoy the free service program from the other dealer because of this singular action.
These customers are currently stranded and have been left in the dark as to what happens to their free service promo in the face of these administrative bottlenecks which they should not be blamed for.
We would like to assure all the customers who purchased their Ford vehicles riding on their strong confidence and faith in the RT Briscoe Brand that we will not abandon them and will deploy all necessary resources at our disposal during this transition period to get their vehicles repaired and returned to them.
In the light of the current realities, RT Briscoe said all customers with new warrantable repairs are advised to visit the other Dealer to enjoy their warranty repairs which remain valid under the published warranty timelines and mileage as clearly stated in their vehicle and warranty manuals.
Our major focus remains doing everything possible to mitigate any potential negative impact this exit from Ford dealership on our customers hence our request for a meeting with Ford Motor Company in our last letter which has not been replied as at the time they released their press statement.
‘’We remain hopeful that both parties can work together in the coming days and months to achieve a smooth transition of customers to the other dealer in market while resolving all pending repairs in our workshops for customers whose vehicles have been grounded.’’ The company official concluded.