Decision details

To award a contract to Ford UK for the supply of Light Commercial Vehicles for a 4 year period

Decision Maker: Assistant Director - Neighbourhood Delivery

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: No


The Council are looking to purchase 32 Light Commercial Vehicles (Vehicle with a gross vehicle weight of no more than 4.5 metric tonnes) over the next 4 years:
21-22 – 19 LCVs (these are likely to roll in 22-23 due to current lead times)
22-23 – 6 LCVs
24-25 – 2 LCVs
25-26 – 5 LCVs
Over the last few years, the Council have been looking to standardise the fleet which brings a number of benefits including familiarity of vehicles, reduced parts inventory and closer relationships with manufacturers and dealerships. The Council have already awarded long term agreements for refuse vehicles and sweepers and are now looking to extend this to the purchase of Light Commercial Vehicles.
The Council have looked at a number of procurement options and have identified the TPPL Framework Agreement which is a framework that covers fleet requirements from passenger vehicles up to 12.5t Commercial Vehicles. Lot 2 of the agreement covers Light and Medium Commercial Vehicles up to 12.5t and includes 20 suppliers and main dealerships.
As part of the framework tender process, bidders were evaluated on 70% cost and 30% quality. Successful companies were then ranked on the agreement from 1-20. Ford are current ranked number 1 meaning the Council are able to carry out a direct award appointment without the need to go through a lengthy tender process.
The Council’s Transport Manager has also held a number of discussions with Ford and he is satisfied that Ford can supply vehicles to our requirements over the next 4 years.
On this basis, the Council will carry out the direct award on the framework agreement to Ford.


To award a contract to Ford for the supply of Light Commercial Vehicles for the next 4 years.

Alternative options considered:

Procurement have carried out an assessment of the procurement routes for the supply of Light Commercial Vehicles over the next 4 years. This included a WTO open tender process, framework agreement with further competition and framework agreement with direct award. The Council quickly decided the framework agreement was the best option as a thorough assessment has already been carried out by the framework provider and included all the main manufacturers and a number of dealerships which provides a high level of competition. It is also quicker than a thorough WTO Open Tender Process which could take up to 6 months to complete.
The Council then looked at the options for direct award and further competition:
Direct award:
The Council are able to award the contract to Ford as they are the number one ranked supplier. The evaluation for the framework agreement was based on 70% price and 30% quality. Ford have the lowest prices on the framework agreement across the range of Light Commercial Vehicles.
Ford’s pricing on both mini tenders and direct awards is based on their framework discounted terms. Bidders will provide the same pricing whether it’s a mini competition or a direct award.
Even though Ford also scored well on quality, the Council have held a number of discussions with Ford to ensure they are the right supplier for the Council. A summary of these discussions are:
-Confirmation that Ford have the required fleet vehicles to cover the Council’s requirements over the next 4 years.
-Confirmation that Ford have a number of electric vehicles and are looking to increase their offer of electric commercial vehicles in the next couple of years. The Council will explore the viability of an electric fleet in the near future.
-As part of the agreement, Ford will offer ‘Ford Live’ which includes mobile fleet support vehicles meaning the Council will not need to travel far for routine repairs. This has a target of a 24 hour response.
-Ford are able to offer an extended warranty to cover £100k / 5 years (whichever comes first).
-Confirmation that Ford will work with all our current ancillary suppliers such as Tipmaster.
-Will offer a single point of contact at Ford UK.
-The possibility of using a local dealership in the future. There are a number of local dealerships and the Council will need to explore the possibility of these dealerships supplying and maintaining the Council’s LCVs through Ford UK in the future.
To summarise, Procurement feel the direct award to Ford provides value for money. It is also likely with Ford offering the lowest pricing they would be very likely to win the contract if we went for the further competition option.
Further competition
This route would require the Council to run a further competition exercise with the 20 members of the framework agreement.
By carrying out a mini competition any of the suppliers on the agreement who can meet the Council’s specification can submit a tender response. The tender process would be managed by TPPL and they expect to be able to turn around the tender in 4-6 weeks once the Council have developed a specification of requirements for the 4 years. The Council then need to award the contract in line with our internal governance arrangements which will take approximately 2 more weeks.
As mentioned, there is a good possibility that Ford would be successful if a further competition exercise was carried out however this would mean the Council would not be in a position to order vehicles for another 10-12 weeks. As the Council already have a number of vehicles which need replacing, along with the long lead times being quoted, it is likely that some of our LCVs will reach a point where it is no longer viable to keep them on the road. This will mean the Council could be looking at short term leasing while we wait for new vehicles to arrive ultimately meaning increased costs for the Council.
The direct award appears to offer the best value for money when considering all costs involved.
The direct award is also compliant with the Council’s Commissioning and Procurement Standing Orders and the Public Contract Regulations 2015.
On that basis, Procurement are happy for this contract to be awarded under a direct award on the TPPL Framework to Ford UK.

Publication date: 19/10/2021

Date of decision: 19/10/2021

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