Ford Trucks was launched in Portugal in 2019 and the arrival in the country marked the start of expansion of the brand in Western Europe. The presentation and inauguration ceremony took place in its premises at Alverca do Ribatejo, where JornalStrada was present. The event was highlighted with the exhibition of the F-Max truck winner of the “International Truck of the Year 2019 Award” (ITOY).
Along the last 2 years and despite the consequences of the pandemic situation that affected the economy, the brand proved to have a positive approval and success in Portugal.
We interviewed Sinan Kayhan, Managing Director of Ford Trucks for Spain & Portugal, to hear from him his perspectives for future of the company and the brand.
JornalStrada: How was Ford Trucks affected by the pandemic situation and what can you tell us about the overall balance of the Ford Trucks presence in Portugal?
Sinan Kayhan: Covid pandemic effected all automotive industry globally. Starting from March 2020 market volumes has shrunk drastically and Ford Trucks also effected from these changes. After 3rd qrt of 2021 it started to recover and our sales performance are better than previous years. Portugal is an important and indicative market for Ford Trucks and we are highly satisfied with our distributor’s performance. Despite covid pandemic we continue to increase our market share and reached over 5% share in a very short time. Therefore we are very confident with our future in Portugal.
JS: What is the current positioning of Ford Trucks in the Iberian market and worldwide?
SK: We offer our customers a premium product with an affordable price and our general approach is ‘’sharing the load" with our customers. Therefore we are very well received in all new markets. We are operating in Middle East, Africa, Euroasia, Russia and almost all part of the Europe as of now and continue to expand our operation. We have 3% Market share in Iberia.
JS: What are your perspectives of the Portuguese and Spanish market in the near future and what are your long-term goals?
SK: We strongly believe that, electrified Trucks will become a part of the brands’ offer range, earlier than expected. For sure, Ford Trucks will be offering the electrified trucks into Iberia market soon. Our battery plant investment will give advantages in the competition. We foresee big opportunities in Iberian market, we are just a new player in the market and make a very good start and we are at the beginning of ramp up period. So there will be a growth opportunity for us both in tractor and rigid segments.
JS: How is Ford Truck represented in Portugal in terms of sales and after sales support? How many sales points do you have at the moment and how are you planning to expand the network?
SK: We almost finalized our market representation plan, opened 6 locations in a very short term like 2 years. We are considering 1 more location as next step in Braga and after that our network will be sufficient enough at least for the following 5 years. As a result, we reach to a mature representation level in Portugal already and can provide both sales & service to all customers in a very short time.
JS: Do you have any plans for the future in terms of investment and new products?
SK: As Ford Trucks we always invest for future with new products, new technologies, facilities and also human sources. We already planned all our product investment until 2030. We are aiming to offer fully autonomous vehicles with platooning technology to our customers and electrified Trucks are is one of the most important stage on this target. Hence we are fully focused on Electrified Trucks in the short term and heavily investing for it.
JS: Could you tell us about Ford Trucks' customer-centric approach? What are the main reasons why a client should choose a Ford truck and what are the most positive points that differentiate the product?
SK: The major difference with our competitors is our mind set. We receive our customers as our business partner and a member of Ford Trucks family. For that reason, we always try to share the loads on our customers instead of creating burdens on them. You can feel it when you are purchasing a truck, when you come to service, even while driving your vehicle.
JS: In terms of reduction in CO2 emissions, what are Ford’s commitments to meet a transition to sustainable transportation and greener cities?
SK: Ford’s commitment is to support and comply all actions and legislation for greener cities. We are following EU’s direction and suggestions closely regarding CO2 emission reduction. We strongly believe that, electrified trucks will open a new era on this transition period.
JS: Regarding training and client support, do you have a Training Academy or are you planning to provide your clients with some support or training on economy and safety driving?
SK: Yes, we have a driving academy. We already gave trainings to many fleet customers and will continue to give these trainings to all of our customers.
Author: Ana Bela Nogueira (Strada)
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