WHEN you buy a car, most manufacturers promise a certain number of kilometers or years of service before warranties expire. We’ve come to accept it as standard practice, and come to terms with the fact that after a year or two, the onus is on ourselves to make sure the vehicle is in tip-top shape, and bear the brunt of any repairs required.
There is another way, however, and it’s a way offered to all new Ford owners who may be unaware of the unspoken benefits; the Ford Extended Service Plan (ESP).
Uniquely, ESP is a service and maintenance contract 100 per cent backed by the Ford Motor Company, something that no other automotive manufacturer offers, and guarantees repairs are made with genuine Ford parts by factory-trained and certified technicians. Coverage is even 100 per cent transferrable, which may increase the resale value of your car. In essence, Ford’s comprehensive Extended Service Plan takes the anxieties out of vehicle ownership by providing peace of mind as it covers a spectrum of manufacturer-recommended maintenance services, including normal wear items.
It’s comforting to know that your new Ford is well protected. And when you buy a new Ford in the Middle East, it comes standard with a three-year/60,000 kilometers Ford Warranty. Sometimes you’d like a little extra peace of mind, though, wanting to protect yourself from unexpected vehicle repair costs; that’s where ESP comes in, with more than 1,000 components and associated labor covered under the PremiumCare plan.
Having been referred to as ESP since the mid-‘Seventies, Ford’s aftersales maintenance packages were recently rebranded as Ford Protect to better describe the all-encompassing nature of offerings to customers.
And every customer is different; some may work their powertrain harder than others, some may push the limits of mechanical products and decide to play it safe with an extended premium care package – good for eight years or 300,000 kilometers depending on the package selected.
In the Middle East, Premium Maintenance is the best seller. That covers all recommended and required maintenances. That’s everything in the book! In comparison to some of Ford’s biggest competitors in certain segments – who offer little more than two years of oil changes – you can’t get better.
For instance, if you buy a big Expedition with heated and cooled seats, underneath that seat, there’s a filter that has to be changed every 60,000 kilometers (before it starts to biodegrade); Ford covers that. Anything from a big filter to a little filter, to an oil filter or oil change, to a tyre rotation – whatever’s in your maintenance schedule that is required to be replaced. It might start with a tyre rotation at 10,000 km, a pollen filter at 30,000 km; and end at 160,000 km with your automatic transmission fluid. It’s all covered by Ford Protect.
On top of that, Ford offers wear coverage on parts through its Ford Protect Premium Maintenance plans. Wear items are those that effectively wear out, like brakes – which aren’t covered by the factory after the first year – clutch, shock absorbers, belts and hoses, spark plugs, and windshield wiper blades (which can get torn or melt).
“Most service contracts on the market from other original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) are backed by a third-party insurance company, which means the coverage isn’t an exact mirror of the factory,” said Evan Hubenka, Business Manager of Ford Protect, Ford Middle East and Africa “But when a customer is registered into Ford’s system, they get factory-like coverage for the term they have selected.”
Hubenka continued: “What’s even more unique about Ford Protect is that the contract is so complete, it lists only what’s not actually covered – which makes for much lighter reading. If it’s not on that list, it’s a covered component. So it’s an exclusionary contract, which is one of the only ones you’re likely to see on the market. There’s no deductible, like you’d find with many competitors.”
When time is money, a vehicle’s necessary repairs for general wear and tear can be costly, and it’s often something customers overlook when purchasing lesser-quality built products from other manufacturers.
Additionally, Ford will give a customer a rental vehicle for up to 10 days (per repair) during the repair of the vehicle, when it’s held overnight or the vehicle is inoperable. And that’s per repair, not for over the course of the coverage. So, if a customer has 10 repairs, he could have 100 days of rental. That’s the Premium Care package.
Maintenance can be expensive to do in the Middle East, there’s no doubt about it, which is why Ford Protect’s Premium Maintenance package is such a great seller. And once customers can see those kind of savings, it becomes impossible to ignore. — SG