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by Dan Mihalascu, May 12, 2015

Ford retailers will open the first 200 flagship FordStores across Europe by the end of the year, with the new showrooms introducing a new customer experience and the Vignale Lounge area.

By the end of 2016, the number of FordStores in Europe is expected to reach 500. The new flagship FordStores will offer customers “a new way of discovering, buying and owning the full range of Ford products and services.”

Located primarily in metropolitan areas, the new FordStores will display the all‑new Ford Mustang, performance vehicles such as the upcoming Ford Focus RS, as well as the full lineups SUVs and commercial vehicles. The showrooms will also include the new Vignale Lounge, a special area for customers of Ford’s new upscale product and personalized ownership experience.

Each FordStore will be divided into clearly visible zones, with unique names. The “hello” zone, with “ask me” signs is a reception area. Servicing enquires will be handled in the “care” zone, while a “discover” zone will offer information from tablet devices, brochures, samples and a 3D one-to-one video wall enabling customers to configure their favorite Ford model and see its actual size. The showrooms will also have dedicated areas for Transit and business customers.

Vehicles will be displayed in a relevant manner. For example, Ford’s lineup of SUVs (Kuga, EcoSport, and the all-new Edge), will be displayed alongside each other. Performance vehicles including the all-new Ford Focus RS, Focus ST, and Fiesta ST also will be displayed together.

The Vignale Lounge will offer a dedicated Ford Vignale relationship manager and a personalized service.

200 Flagship FordStores To Open In Europe This Year
 

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How's the model work in Europe, does Ford own the dealerships? That could be the big difference.
How can Ford neglect the US market so badly? This seems to be another example of spending their money overseas and not here. The majority of the Ford dealers here can't even put the right amount and the right weight of oil in a Focus ST.............while it appears that the Ford dealers in Europe will be outfitted to look like a night club.
 

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How can Ford neglect the US market so badly? This seems to be another example of spending their money overseas and not here. The majority of the Ford dealers here can't even put the right amount and the right weight of oil in a Focus ST.............while it appears that the Ford dealers in Europe will be outfitted to look like a night club.
Ford doesn't own the dealerships in the US, they are privately owned. Talk to your local dealership if you are disappointed. That is why I was curious on how European dealerships are setup, are the corporately owned, I'm not sure and too lazy to google it right now. Tesla is trying to change this model in the US, do a little research on how much resistance they have from state governments (note: a lot of car dealership owners are into politics or contribute very generously to campaigns).

Also, just a quick financial lesson....The US has one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world (maybe the highest). What does this mean? Well when Ford has profits in Europe, they will probably use those profits in Europe and not repatriate the earnings to the US where they would have to pay taxes on it again. This would reduce overall profit, which from a business standpoint is crazy. Most corporations in this position will reinvest that into the country where it was earned due to this or sit on a large amount of cash outside of the US.
 

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Yeah you're right. Europeans pay very little in taxes, and their wealthy business people aren't involved in politics at all.
 

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Yeah you're right. Europeans pay very little in taxes, and their wealthy business people aren't involved in politics at all.
Never said that. Personal taxes in Europe are much higher, but we are talking corporate tax.

As for people involved in politics in Europe, I have no idea. Again, different regulations, but I'm sure if people have something to lose or gain, they will be involved. I just used Tesla as an example, because a lot of the articles I read on their legal situation tend to point out that the opposition in government typically have conflicting interests.
 

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He wasn't really saying that the corporate taxes are that much lower, but earning them there and paying tax on it and then bringing the money back into the US and paying tax on it again is what they are trying to avoid. Most companies just don't bring the cash back to the US because of being double taxed. They would rather just reinvest there.
 

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I understand the economics, and I didn't mean to sound snarky. My point is simply, we struggle in the US with dealers being able to install a tune or put the right amount of oil or even the right weight oil in a FoST. Perhaps if Ford spent more time/money getting their dealers in the US to provide a better overall customer experience their profits here in the US would rise. I would have to think that picking up market share here in the US would be easier and more desirable for Ford. I'm suggesting that their ROI/ROC would likely be better in the US market than in Europe. I would think the payback would be quicker investing their money here.
 

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He wasn't really saying that the corporate taxes are that much lower, but earning them there and paying tax on it and then bringing the money back into the US and paying tax on it again is what they are trying to avoid. Most companies just don't bring the cash back to the US because of being double taxed. They would rather just reinvest there.
Correct, basically most large corporations are going to spend the money where they earn it.

The US does have very high Corporate tax though, the top rate is 35% (what Ford pays) + State Tax or 0-10% depending + City tax if there is one. Using Germany as an example, they have a 15.8% Corp tax and a 17.5% local tax (max) or an effective tax of 33.3%. As you can see, once you factor in the state and city taxes in the US, we are much higher.
 

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I think it is a good way for them to go. I'm not sure if they offer Lincoln in Europe but if they do I just hope that this new line under the Ford badge does not step on any other FoMoCo brands. Hearing that Focus RS will be exclusive as these store is interesting, but not that surprising. I understand Honda has similar stores in Japan. Word from a friend is that they don't keep inventory at the store, you go and place an order, when it arrives you get it. This seams to work better for markets near where a vehicle is built.

As for Tesla, it is sad that they are facing the issues I read about, think it was in Mississippi or Alabama I read about. In their case it really does sound like a case of law makers with a conflict of interest pushing laws through at some point that are now causing Tesla grief. But, not sure if its as bad everywhere as media made it sound. If Tesla finds states/cities that prohibit their business model they should find the nearest location they can put the store and blanket the first location with media. Then if anyone comes to store and complains about not having one closer to them, have a pamphlet with details of laws/regulations that prevented it as well as representatives to contact about getting that changed ready to hand them.
 

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I understand the economics, and I didn't mean to sound snarky. My point is simply, we struggle in the US with dealers being able to install a tune or put the right amount of oil or even the right weight oil in a FoST. Perhaps if Ford spent more time/money getting their dealers in the US to provide a better overall customer experience their profits here in the US would rise. I would have to think that picking up market share here in the US would be easier and more desirable for Ford. I'm suggesting that their ROI/ROC would likely be better in the US market than in Europe. I would think the payback would be quicker investing their money here.
I agree, I think if Ford would "force" the dealers to meet certain criteria to sell certain models, we would probably get a much better project. It used to be prior to about 2000 that only certain dealers could sell SVT vehicles. If Ford required dealers to have a separate showroom and/or something like a performance lounge in order to sell the performance models, I think a lot of dealers would comply. It really has nothing to do with Ford's profits here in the US though. There is only so much they can do within the current structure of the dealer network.

This is exactly why I believe a lot of people need to get behind Tesla and their model. Once they or someone similar has a foothold and will create showrooms like that in Europe, it will force the hand of these private dealers to react. This is not something that will happen quickly, but it will happen. You can already see BMW, Audi, and Mercedes dealership owners responding to what Tesla is doing by redesigning their dealerships. Once Tesla starts competing directly with Ford, dealers will have to come along too.
 

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Tesla's direct model is based on necessity though. Tesla feels, and I agree, that existing gasoline powered vehicle dealers are not the right choice. But the reason is, and Tesla explains this on their website, that any existing dealer would be undermining gasoline vehicle sales immediately by selling electric cars. That, and the fact that the salesforce would be grossly unprepared to sell an electric vehicle because they know nothing about them. Many dealership salespeople don't know the difference between a Focus Titanium and a FoST.

I think this is a bigger factor for why Tesla has settled on their model, not because of profits per se.
 

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The bigger the company the more problems that come with employees, products ect. If Tesla had 1 million vehicles on the road they would have no idea what to do with them. The dealer system is set up to be run with guidelines from the manufacturer by the dealer. There for their effort directly effects their outcome. It is much easier to manage a small company with corporate guidlines then a corporation running a bunch of small companies.

If you need a case for Franchises vs corporate look at Mcdonalds. They are going through huge changes right now from the CEO down and are selling more stores do downsize the corporation. If Tesla wants to play with the big boys they will need a solid structure set up to do it. If they want to sell cars to the masses then they will need to adapt to that type of customer. If a dealer fails, that dealer is effected, if a company fails and is run under Tesla's model, they all go out.
 
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