However, it seemed that this cloud had a silver lining. Ford, another American manufacturer who was without representation in the Thurrock area, approached R T Rate Ltd on becoming a retail dealer under the Plant in Dagenham. This change, and especially the success of the Ford brand with their excellent quality control, reasonable pricing and professional brand, quickly helped Tommy and Monica get noticed not only locally but reaching far and wide across the Essex region.
Following this, Tommy and Monica set about proving to their new partners at Ford, and indeed to their customers, that they would go above and beyond for their community. They made it their mission to provide people with the very best in customer service, especially on Aftersales, and on 1st of December 1976 R T Rate Ltd were rewarded for their hard work with the presigious Main Dealer status.
In 1976, Ford Motor Company began to cement their position as an exciting and enviable car brand with the introduction of the Ford Fiesta – the first front-wheel drive Ford vehicle, and the second hatchback mini-car to reach the UK.
Colin Rate, Tommy and Monica’s eldest son, came into the business in mid-1976 to assist in the sales department and help meet the extraordinary demand for the Fiesta. This allowed Richard to concentrate on assuring the best service for the local community in the Aftersales department while Monica took over the running of the forecount and Accounts department. It was here that Rates became a true family business.