Ford will not allow its European dealers to self-register cars any more, as the company is seeking to increase its profit in the region.
It is a common knowledge throughout the automotive industry that automakers and their dealers are using the self-registering strategy to report higher sales figures. Through this practice, often used in Europe, a dealership buys new cars from the manufacturer and registers them on its own account, making themselves first owners. And to make a little bit of extra profit, vehicles can be de-registered and sold elsewhere in the region, as there are significant price differences between markets, and cars have a much lower price tag in the Eastern parts of Europe than the ones found in North or West of the continent. But no more, Jim Farley, president of Ford of Europe, said in an interview at the Geneva Auto Show. “It’s growing in the US, but it is a perfected art in Europe,” he said. “In some months in Germany, 20 to 30 percent of the industry is products sold to your own dealers that they register for you as a demo unit and sell as used cars.”
According to Farley, the Detroit-based automaker has its share of dealer self-registered sales in Europe to 4 percent, compared with its overall 8 percent share. As part of Ford’s strategy to boosts its earnings in the region, the company is shifting the focus on much profitable segments. And as SUVs have turned into the best-selling segment in Europe last year, marking a first time event and outselling traditional segments, Farley said the Blue Oval brand would add five crossovers or SUVs to its regional product lineup within five years.
Via Automotive News