Ford Australia has announced that from July 1 it will provide owners of all cars equipped with its SYNC2 infotainment system - which now features across its entire 2016 range bar the EcoSport and Fiesta - with free satellite navigation map updates for a full seven years.
It’s the most generous map update programme in the country, however there’s one catch. Cars must have their scheduled servicing carried out at a Ford service centre, and after seven years the updates cease entirely - they simply won’t be available from Ford, paid or otherwise.
But until then, updates can be applied as frequently as the customer likes, saving owners of eligible vehicles $79 each time. The remainder of MapCare coverage is transferrable to the next owner as well, and with 23,000 street names being changed and 120,000km of new roads being built each year, up-to-date map data is a handy thing to have.
The extended MapCare coverage is part of Ford Australia’s on-going ‘Dealership of the Futrue’ strategy to improve its customer service score, which is already bearing fruit in the form of a 37 percent improvement in dealership service retention since 2012.
“This is an exciting time at Ford as we transform our dealerships while launching a record number of new vehicles – all to make our customers’ lives better and easier throughout their sales and ownership experience,” said Graeme Whickman, President and CEO of Ford of Australia (above).
“We are just getting started and we already have seen significant progress in sales and service satisfaction, which has helped us increase sales and improve service retention as this has become a differentiator for Ford.”
Other customer-experience improvements in recent times include allowing owners to book their services online, presenting customers with service ‘report cards’ that break down the work done to each car, and allowing them full access to the full servicing history of their car through Ford Australia’s online servicing portal.
Ford’s free loan car programme has also proved popular with customers with over 1600 cars available nationwide for customers to drive while their vehicles are being repaired - the cost of which are shared between dealerships and Ford Australia,
Ford’s Service Price Promise fixed-price servicing scheme also now covers brake components and provides greater transparency and predictabilty on service costs. Combined, these and other measures help Ford keep owners from taking their cars to third-party or independent workshops - and taking their money with them.
Right now, around 75 percent of Ford’s customer base is now served by dealerships and staff that conform to Ford’s Dealership Of The Future model.
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