UK owners of older model Ford vehicles are expected to benefit from a new scheme providing low-volume new parts for sale direct to the public.

The National Clearance Centre, run by Foray Motor Group, is now selling new, slow moving Ford parts and accessories direct to the public from a depot and showroom in Amesbury, Wiltshire.

Previously the 26,000 different types of older vehicle parts were stored in Ford's two European parts distribution centres in Daventry, Northamptonshire, and Cologne, Germany, and were available only to Ford dealers. As the majority of parts are for cars and commercial vehicles from the early 1980s to mid 1990s, low order levels led to the items being 'de-stocked' to free up storage space for newer parts.

The range of parts and accessories can now be browsed and bought by dealers, independent garages or owners of older models via a website. Substantial savings are offered on a wide range of parts, such as Escort cabriolet soft-tops, Sierra alloy wheels or original Mondeo rear spoilers. Most orders received by 3.30pm are dispatched the same day and the parts can be delivered worldwide - many Ford Europe models made in the 1980s and 90s were exported new as far away as Japan, Australia and New Zealand.

"Ford carries a stock of replacement parts and accessories for all vehicles [for] 10 years after they go out of production," said Axel Wilke, Ford customer service division's European marketing director.

"Once that period has elapsed, and there are fewer and fewer examples of the vehicle on the road, we can find ourselves with stock still required by some owners but not viable to be held centrally by Ford.

"The National Clearance Centre is dedicated to holding these special items and finding customers for them."

Ford said the service and prices from the new distributor would also prolong the life of accident damaged vehicles which otherwise would have been uneconomic to repair.

Prices are lower than those previously charged via dealers thanks to the internet-based operation.

The launch the National Clearance Centre followed a two-year pilot of the scheme by Foray, which has also been offering a similar service for Mazda parts to dealers since September 2004. The opening of the new centre has initially created eight new jobs, with more posts expected to open if sales exceed expectations.

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