Key changes in Ford a win for consumer choice and repairer opportunities

Key changes in Ford a win for consumer choice and repairer opportunities
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Ford has announced a huge change in aftermarket sales guidelines in South Africa. Business Tech reported on the changes to the vehicle manufacturers’ service plans that are set to align with the country’s new automotive aftermarket guidelines. The result is an opening up of opportunities for Independent Service Providers (ISP) and allowing consumers the benefit of choice when their car needs to be repaired.

Changes taking effect 1st November 2021

From 1st November 2021, Ford’s service plans, previously included as standard on new car sales, would be separated from the vehicle’s purchase price and offered separately to buyers.

This result is welcomed after almost a decade of complaints submitted to the Competition Commission. Various industry players and Independent Service Providers have been citing ‘exclusionary conduct at all levels of the automotive aftermarket supply chain’. And finally, change has come.

We have been working to implement the systems and processes necessary to unbundle the Ford Protect service plans,”

Neale Hill, president of the Ford Motor Company Africa


Ford Customers to Pay Attention to Guidelines

While this change in Ford’s sales plan is a positive result, the car giant encourages its customers to understand the guidelines of this rule change. For example,

  • Should a buyer choose to service their car outside of the Ford dealer network, whilst under a Ford Protect Service Plan, Ford is not obliged to pay the Independent Service Providers (ISP) for services rendered
  • While the Ford warranty remains in place, any failure as a result of the parts used or the workmanship of the ISP, that portion of the repair may not be covered by the Ford warranty
  • While consumers will be permitted to choose to fit original or non-original spare parts and source these spare parts from ISPs of their choice, they should understand that any fault caused by an ISP during the repairer can result in the warranty on Ford parts becoming invalid and void.

More to Come

With Ford leading the pack, more vehicle companies are set to follow with implementing changes to their new car buyers service plan packages. Consumers will be permitted to fix their cars at a service provider of their choice, in a location and in a way more convenient to them.

Handling Disputes

Where disputes arise, consumers will be required to follow the internal complaints procedures of the OEM or dealer. In cases where resolution cannot be found, the Motor Industry Ombudsman of South Africa (MIOSA) can be approached. If the consumer feels the ISP’s conduct is in contravention of the Competition Act, they may approach the Commission directly for more assistance.

To read the original article, go here.

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