Ford is working with Rockar to open a new-look five-car showroom in the refurbished Next store in Manchester’s Arndale shopping centre.

Test drives will be available from the Arndale Centre and new cars can be handed over there. A  team of 15 product experts and support staff are being recruited for the store, which opens in July.

At the same time Ford will launch an online car sales pilot for customers to specify finance and order a new car for delivery to participating dealers or to a home address anywhere in the country.

Andy Barratt, Ford of Britain chairman; said: “We have the most extensive dealership network already. These will remain to serve the many consumers wanting to visit a dealer. There’s also a growing appetite to browse for cars in other retail environments and online which we’re meeting with these 2018 ventures.”

Ford’s display at Manchester Arndale will change regularly, and will initially feature new 2018 ranges including Fiesta, EcoSport and Mustang. All complementary online offers will be supported by Ford Options, the company’s Personal Contract Purchase (PCP) scheme, and be accompanied by Ford’s usual warranty and roadside assistance terms.