Ford accesses the Finnish roads via Turku

Car sales have increased considerably in Finland in 2016. The growth rate is also swift for Ford, with an increase in sales for January–June by as much as 21.1 per cent. The popularity of the fourth best-selling make of car in Finland is based on largely renewed models, complemented by the new Ford Edge that was launched in the summer.

Through the port

Edge is in the category of large SUVs and is imported to Finland through the Port of Turku as are practically all new Fords. Manufactured in Canada, the Ford Edges are shipped to Finland via Bremerhaven, while the European models come to Turku from Travemünde.

“Assistor also offers car dealers various digital solutions and information services for the management of the de-livery chain and for supporting the sales and finance processes”, says Sales Director Samuel Alander.

”It takes about 14 days to transport new Fords from Cologne to Turku. Cars are shipped from Travemünde once a week, and thus our dealers usually have the best-selling models in stock. Most of the cars are, however, made to order and individually equipped with a delivery time of around 35–40 days”, says Johan Lindberg, Sales Director at Oy Ford Ab.

”Today, fast delivery is one of the key selection criteria for the buyer of a new car. Ford dealers use an electronic ordering system to minimise the delivery times. It allows us to see which models are being manufactured at the plant, and together with the customers we can choose the car they want. The system also allows us to give a reliable estimate on the delivery date to the customer”, says Marko Kärkkäinen, Sales Manager at Veho Olari.

An efficient logistics chain is a key factor in securing the fast delivery of new cars. In Ford’s case, the manufacturing plant is responsible for logistics up to the Port of Turku where Oy Ford Ab takes over. Ford’s logistics partner in Finland is Assistor Oy Ab which handles all measures related to imports, including notifications to the authorities, quality control and transports. Assistor sends the cars to the dealers increasingly often completely ready to be handed over to the customers.

”Our work starts already before the ship arrives in the port. On the basis of the ship data we prepare a production and delivery plan for the cars, and do advance registration which generates register numbers for the cars. Assistor also collects all details of the cars required for taxation and makes car tax declarations to the Customs”, says Samuel Alander, Sales Director of Assistor Oy Ab.

The most visible part of the work takes place in Assistor’s servicing and inspection halls. First the cars are filled with fuel suited to the Nordic conditions, and then they are driven through the washing centre to inspection. In addition to the equipment and technical functions, the Assistor staff checks the painted surfaces, windows and mirrors, and installs the accessories and equipment ordered by the customers.

In addition to multi-stage inspections, the Assistor staff is kept busy by the installations of accessories which are faster and more cost-efficient when done in connection with importing rather than locally.

”The cars made to order are always inspected first, so that they can be forwarded to the dealers as quickly as possible. Keeping the delivery schedules is an important part of the Ford customer experience the car buyers get. At the same time it’s part of our customer promise: ‘Your Brand, Our Delivery’”, Samuel Alander stresses.

Text Kari Ahonen
Photos Markku Koivumäki