Ford maintains top spot in 2006

Ford continued to be the most popular car manufacturer in the UK in 2006, with the Focus and the Mondeo the top models.

The manufacturer owned a 17.9 per cent share of the market last year, selling more than 200,000 cars, and it claims that its approach to customers is the secret behind its success.

"Different customers have different values, we consider customer’s needs individually," said Kevin Griffin, Ford’s director of fleet operations. "Taking care of the small things is what really matters."

Ford has been the most popular brand in the UK every year between 1977 and 2006.

It claims that certain elements of its business have helped it secure this success, such as ensuring that independent body shops have a Ford courtesy car on hand, treating all customers equally and allowing them to choose which business centre they are treated through.

In 2007, the automaker claims that it will be setting its prices at the lowest rates possible, rather than offering discounts which actually hurt the customer, who has to pay tax on the list price rather than the discounted price.

"Whole life costs are more important than artificially low purchase prices," Mr Griffin explained.

Ford also predicted that it would maintain its strong market position in 2007 as it is one of the most cost-efficient manufacturers in terms of maintenance and repair.

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