'Changing Gear' – the RNLI joins forces with Ford UK

We’re 'changing gear' and are delighted to announce we are joining forces with one of the UK’s biggest brands, Ford UK,  as the RNLI’s new official vehicle supplier.
RNLI joins forces with Ford UK

Photo: RNLI

We’re also excited to share the news that we’ll be collaborating with Ford on joint marketing activity, with the aim of reaching new and larger audiences with safety messages and to raise funds to support our lifesaving work.

Ford UK – new vehicle supplier and marketing collaboration

Ford UK will supply approximately 450 vehicles over a three-year period. This number includes some for use on UK beaches and at lifeboat stations around the UK and Ireland, and some for use as general-purpose vehicles to transport RNLI staff and equipment for fundraising and to share our safety messages. To find out more about the types of vehicles that will be supplied, please take a look at this Q&A document (PDF 112KB).

Our new relationship with Ford is underpinned by our shared commitment to safety and dependability and we look forward to sharing more news about the collaboration in the next few months. Meanwhile, do keep an eye out on Ford UK and the RNLI’s Twitter feeds to hear more. 

How did we decide to work with Ford?
Last year the Procurement Team led a seven-month competitive tendering process for a new vehicle fleet supplier and lease providers for the RNLI. Ford were selected as our new sole supplier of vehicles until the end of 2020. A team of over 40 people, from across 10 functional areas of the RNLI, were part of this decision-making process. This included the rigorous testing of vehicles in their operational environment, as well as discussions about how the companies could help the RNLI with wider marketing and fundraising objectives.

Why did we choose Ford?
Our new suppliers were selected because of their performance and delivery on key factors including: safety, environmental, innovation and cost. These new contracts will deliver over £1 million of savings per year for the RNLI against costs on current vehicles. 

Read on below to understand more about the key benefits delivered by this new supplier contract.

What benefits will our new supplier: Ford deliver?

The contract with Ford will deliver vehicles with the highest standards of safety, including the addition of several autonomous safety features fitted to RNLI vehicles as standard, which will enhance driver safety. Ford were the only bidder able to provide all of the RNLI’s required safety features across the entire vehicle range including commercial vans. 

The contract with Ford will allow for a significant improvement in the environmental footprint of the RNLI’s vehicle fleet, with a reduction in the total environmental impact of our vehicles taking account of not just CO2 but also Carbon Monoxide and Nitrogen Oxide emissions.

We will explore and develop the potential Electric and Plug in Hybrid vehicles being deployed in the RNLI fleet. This commenced with a trial of a Plug in Hybrid Ford Transit Van.

Cost Savings
On a like-for-like basis, the contract with Ford and Alphabet will deliver over £1 million of savings per year for the RNLI against the current prices we are paying for vehicles. 

The Ford Advantage Programme
As part of the collaboration, Ford have generously agreed to make the Ford Advantage Programme available to RNLI staff and volunteers (Staff ID will be needed or a letter of identification from a manager/helm/coxswain on headed RNLI paper to confirm status as a volunteer). Under the Ford Advantage Programme selected new Ford vehicle purchases through the Ford dealer network receive up to two free services and an additional two years of roadside assistance. 

Any questions?

Please take a look at the Q&A here (PDF 112KB) which includes more details on the Ford Vehicle Contract, the Marketing Collaboration and some General Q&A.