Article date: 5 December 2007
RAC is to carry out 6,000 audits per year throughout the 700-strong Ford dealer network in the UK to help the manufacturer increase its dealer network service quality levels.
At typically 10 visits per dealer, up to 10,000 Ford vehicles in total will be inspected per year. Since the programme began in 2005, rigorous vehicle checking conducted by RAC Examining Engineers shows that Ford dealers have significantly improved repair and servicing quality levels throughout the UK network.
RAC Inspection Services carry out a quality check on customer-owned vehicles, which are in the dealership for service or repair work. An extensive number of physical checks are completed and the vehicle is placed under an audit process using the Ford Quality Check procedure. The Quality Check confirms that the Ford dealer has carried out all requested work fully and to the high standards prescribed by Ford Motor Company Ltd.
Dealers who fail to demonstrate that they achieve an acceptable level of workshop quality will be subject to further testing of their workshops and service standards and above that they are placed on a systemic process that addresses and resolves quality issues.
Ford are looking to take this approach even further, beyond a quality programme, and to make it part of an enhanced "FordService" brand with a unique customer proposition for all Ford owners.
Adrian McCarthy, head of RAC Inspection Services, said: "RAC recognises that it's important to continuously improve and monitor standards of servicing and repair within the motor industry.
"The partnership sees RAC supporting Ford to ensure that vehicles undergo a stringent checking process to make sure quality work is carried out and the service and repair process meets inspection requirements set by Ford.
"Ford's partnership with RAC will look to increase dealers' repair and servicing levels through independent inspection and will encourage Ford's customers to visit an authorised Ford dealer for all their vehicle servicing needs.
"With RAC implementing programmes such as vehicle manufacture inspections, car owners will be reassured that they are receiving a quality vehicle checking service from the manufacturer of the vehicle they drive."
John Cooper, director, Ford customer service division, said: "Recognising the poor reputation of the vehicle repair garage industry in general in 2004, we wanted to differentiate our Authorised Repairer network and introduced the RAC Service Workshop Quality Programme. The programme is designed to assist our Authorised Repairers in managing and improving workshop quality and customer satisfaction. We selected the RAC to manage the programme as they provide an independent, objective service and are a recognised and trusted brand."
RAC Press office contact:
Adam Cracknell on 01603 684 916/07800 699 517 or Sam Bramwell at Staniforth on 0161 919 8024/07738 196 667
Notes to editors
- With around seven million members, RAC is one of the UK's most progressive motoring organizations, providing services for both private and business motorists. Whether it's roadside assistance, windscreen repair and replacement, learning to drive, vehicle inspections and checks, legal and financial services or up-to-the-minute traffic and travel information - RAC is able to meet motorists' needs. RAC incorporates BSM, RAC Auto Windscreens, RAC Direct Insurance and HPI.
- Aviva bought RAC in May 2005. The acquisition brings together RAC's powerful brand and customer base with the expertise and leading position in motor insurance of Norwich Union Insurance (part of Aviva). Norwich Union is the UK's largest insurer, insuring one in seven motor vehicles and with a market share of around 15 %.
- RAC's news releases and a selection of images are available from the internet press centre at www.racnews.co.uk.