This is the positive situation after the first three months of trading and only a month after the official launch function, according to the operation’s general manager Grant Askham.
The arrival of approved Ford Performance Parts and Roush Performance and the roll out of official fitment centres in South Africa is certainly being welcomed by Ford enthusiasts, particularly as the operation has the support of the Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa
“We are delighted that even in this environment of an economic downturn there are many Ford owners who still want to improve the performance or enhance the appearance of their Ford cars, SUV’s and bakkies,” said Askham.
“The public interest and sales figures are exceeding our expectations while Ford dealers are finding the opportunity of being able to provide approved performance upgrades with a warranty to be a very attractive addition to their normal business. Several have applied to stock these specialist parts and to become fitment centres.”
One of the problems with performance enhancements, is that they void manufacturers’ vehicle warranties. What has been arranged for the Ford Performance Parts and Roush Performance fitments is that a comprehensive three-year / 60 000km powertrain warranty will cover the performance upgrades, while the remainder of the Ford new vehicle warranty will not be voided.
Under the Roush banner, the Mustang is offered with three levels of performance enhancements, ranging from Level 1 with cold air induction and an exhaust system. Level 2 includes Level 1 plus some cosmetic enhancements as well as an ECU upgrade. Level 3 further adds the fitment of a Roush supercharger and revised suspension. So far, the highest reading achieved on the facility’s dynamometer for a Level 3 Mustang is 514 kW.
Under the Ford Performance Parts banner upgrades for other Ford models, including the Ranger, Everest, Fiesta ST and Focus ST are available.
Already 13 Roush Level 2 or Level 3 performance enhancement kits have been fitted to Mustangs at Centurion facility, while more than 40 Mustangs have been fitted with special Roush exhaust systems. A further seven Level 3 installations have been booked by buyers just waiting to take delivery of their new Mustangs.
The company is currently awaiting final approval for Roush engine performance enhancement kits for Ranger and Everest, but meanwhile it is selling suspension kits and other accessories for these models.
The fitment centre is manned by master technicians and this will be a requirement when other Ford accredited dealers are established to do performance enhancements themselves. Dealer or fitment centre personnel all have to attend a rigorous Ford training course in before they can offer Ford Performance Parts and fitment.
“Importantly, special model names, such as Mustang Roush Level 3, have been registered with TransUnion so that these modified cars are listed as specific Ford models in the South African used car pricing guide.
"This is a major benefit as usually additions to the standard specification are not taken fully into account when a dealer quotes on a trade-in, which can be very costly when extra equipment and performance enhancements are concerned,” explained the general manager of the Ford and Roush Performance Centre.
A wide range of approved practical and appearance accessories are offered at the facility. Joint venture partners Würth and Castrol lubricants also have display area in the facility.
“The take up on our range of merchandise such as jackets, caps, shirts and the like has also been better than expected, with some enthusiasts spending more than R10 000 during one visit to our merchandise shop. We have had to re-order many of the items already,” added Askham.
“Our Ford Performance facility in Centurion, just off the Brakfontein interchange on the N1 freeway, is proving a regular meeting place for motor enthusiasts, not necessarily only Ford drivers,” said Askham.
“On Saturdays we have our dynamometer operating and our sales area is open, while on Sundays we want to encourage a ‘cars and coffee’ culture so that Ford Performance in Centurion is a popular destination for breakfast runs.”