Ford and Smart Transport member ALD Automotive will work on new mobility services and solutions as part of a new joint venture.
The new JV, called Ford Fleet Management, will offer commercial and passenger vehicles through Ford’s dealer network as well as direct and through digital platforms.
The operation will launch in the UK this autumn, subject to approval by relevant authorities, before rolling out to selected European markets.
The agreement builds on a long-standing relationship between the two companies; ALD has provided Ford Lease Services as a white label product for more than 15 years.
The partnership will put Ford closer to its corporate and business customers by utilising ALD’s fleet management expertise, while ALD will benefit from direct links to Ford’s connected data which will help the new organisation achieve its stated ambition of “best-in-class” vehicle uptime, particularly crucial for fleets running light commercial vehicles.
Stuart Rowley, president, Ford of Europe, described the new business as a “significant step” that would help Ford to strengthen its position in the commercial vehicle sector by offering fleet management services to customers.
“With ALD Automotive’s scale and experience in the full-service leasing market, Ford Fleet Management offers a one-stop shop for our customers, helping them more efficiently run their businesses by saving both time and money,” Rowley said.
Tim Albertsen, chief executive officer at ALD Automotive, also put the spotlight on the opportunities for commercial vehicle fleets, claiming Ford Fleet Management would support “the development of full-service leasing” for vans.
He added: “This initiative, which leverages our leading position in the full-service vehicle leasing segment in Europe, fully reflects our capacity to create long-standing leasing partnerships and is a natural extension of our successful relationship with Ford.”
Ford Fleet Management will provide a comprehensive package of products and services, from leasing and maintenance to digital fleet management systems and mobility solutions.
As yet, it is not known whether this comes at an additional fee and how this might affect Ford’s relationships with other leasing companies.