Asda has ordered a fleet of new Ford Transit home delivery vehicles to support growing online demand.
Numbers and model details have not been specified but the “significant” fleet order has been placed with TrustFord, Ford’s largest dealer, as a result of close working between the two organisations.
The first vehicle deliveries are already underway and have been handed over at Asda’s Lancaster superstore by Nichola Hobson, national account sales manager, along with group aftersales development manager, Graham Wright, to Asda’s senior manager national fleets, Sean Clifton, and its operations manager fleet Adrian Rigby.
Asda’s Sean Clifton said: “The collaborative approach to the project has been tremendous – not just the supply of great vehicles but also the significant evolution of the aftersales vehicle maintenance model. Given the backdrop of the pandemic, the teams have barely missed a beat in bringing these vehicles to our stores and I want to thank everyone involved, including our partners in TrustFord and Paneltex. The vans look great and will help us reach more customers across the UK and help feed the nation.”
The coronavirus crisis has not just seen already rising demand for online supermarket deliveries accelerate fast but also growing demand for new approaches; Asda announced last week that it’s partnered with Uber Eats to offer customers a rapid delivery service to the doorstep in as little as 30 minutes. The trial is running from stores in Leeds and Birmingham but could be rolled out wider.
The trial, which launches this week from stores in Leeds (Pudsey) and Birmingham (Barnes Hill), gives customers a choice of over 300 Asda own-brand products and branded everyday items for speedy delivery including; ready meals, fresh fruit and vegetables, and beer, wine and spirits.
Ocado also said this week that it believes the switch to internet shopping will be permanent; chief executive Tim Steiner said: “As a result of Covid-19, we have seen years of growth in the online grocery market condensed into a matter of months; and we won’t be going back.”
The tie-up between Asda and TrustFord draws on the dealer group’s focus on providing an exceptional aftersales service. In recent years its support has been extended to its mobile service fleet, managed by James Bacon, national quicklane and mobile van manager, enabling technicians to visit customers at their workplace; helping to keep them on the road and minimise downtime.
TrustFord’s chairman and CEO, Stuart Foulds said: “Our Fleet team delivers an outstanding service which has national recognition for providing exceptional service levels. We take pride in working very closely with our customers to understand the nature of their business demands and needs. We understand the importance of keeping customers informed and on the road. Our growing mobile van service adds an additional proposition which is becoming increasingly popular with existing and prospective customers. To have secured the confidence of Sean at Asda and their fleet team is a privilege and we look forward to a long and happy partnership.”