Sales of Focus Up; China, Europe Hit the Wall
FordInsideNews
May 11, 2012
By: Austin Rutherford


Ford sales in the first quarter of 2012 were a double-edged sword. Even with higher sales in North America, Europe and China dragged total sales downward. Ford will have many new products in the coming months to help remedy both problems.

Ford of Europe is experiencing weakening demands for their products as the debt crisis continues. There is glimmer of hope however out of the storm for market share is on the rise. Sales of vehicles like the Focus are gaining traction allowing for this increase.

Even though many companies are slowing development of models, or canceling them altogether, Ford of Europe is pulling a page out from Ford of North Americas handbook: When in recession, speed up development. Over the course of 2012 to the end of 2013, Europe will released all-new versions of the Ranger, Transit, Kuga, Mondeo, S-Max, and Galaxy with many other all-new, face lifted, or new derivatives of models coming as well.

One of the big reasons European margins are hurting is overcapacity. Ford will however be adding capacity. Madness! you say? Well Ford will be putting its cheap labor Romanian plant into full swing for the all-new B-Max. Instead of very low margins like that of competitors, Ford will be allowed to make more money for the vehicle than if it was made in Western Europe. Ford will also start production of two plants in Russia, which will produce vehicles like the Explorer and Transit.

Even if European sales stay at their low rates, Ford of Europes sales could actually rise a lot thanks to these new, cheap plants.

Ford of Chinas sales fell 16% in the first quarter. This, however, can be contributed almost by the Ford Focus switchover. The all-new Ford Focus launched late in April and curved sales of the older model as customers waited for the improved third generation. The fall, however, does show a sour point at Ford China.

The Ford Focus makes up roughly one fourth of Fords Chinese sales. Any disruption in its chain causes the entire endeavor to show a loss. Even with Ford adding products like the Kuga, EcoSport, and Explorer this year and in 2013, Ford needs to diversify their Chinese lineup further. Three cars, in sedan and hatch, are not enough. Whether Ford needs to release cheaper cars in segments with the Ford brand or not, more cars from the A00 to the C segment (Chinese segmentation) is needed if Ford wants to grow is all fields of the Chinese auto industry.

Even with sales being lower due to debt and foreseeable product shifts, there were many bright lights in Fords sales. North American sales were up thanks to a lift in the United States. The biggest gainer in this market, and the world, was the Focus. The Focus was so popular in March that it likely scored over 100,000 units globally. Compared to the same period in 2011, 2012 saw sales of the Focus rise nearly 14% globally. Expect sales of the Focus to rise even more as plants in China and Thailand come online. Ford F-Series (North American), Explorer, and Edge all saw nice gains from the previous years.

Ford is not standing still. In the coming months, Ford will release the all-new B-Max in Europe and the all-new Ranger will start production and sales in South America. Ford of North America will start the global debut of the all-new Escape/ Kuga in May, while Ford Asia Pacific and Africa will have opened two all-new plants for the third gen Focus.


If you have any figures of markets not listed, please tell us in the comments section. Big thanks to Matt of Best Selling Cars.

Markets included in the first quarter were Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Chile, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mexico, Morocco, Netherlands, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Qatar, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Venezuela, and Vietnam.


Sales by Category
  1. Ford Focus - 236,261
  2. Ford Fiesta(World/LA) - 189,246
  3. Ford F-Series(World)/ Lobo - 170,913
  4. Ford Escape/ Kuga - 91,632
  5. Ford Fusion(World) - 69,460
  6. Ford Transit V,VII - 56,650
  7. Ford Mondeo - 40,636
  8. Ford Edge - 39,298
  9. Ford Explorer - 38,444
  10. Ford C-Max - 32,636
  11. Ford E-Series - 31,125
  12. Ford Figo/ Ikon(Mx) - 25,154
  13. Ford Mustang - 21,497
  14. Ford Ka(Euro) - 20,810
  15. Ford Ranger(World) - 19,423
  16. Ford Transit Connect - 19,350
  17. JMC Boadian/ BD-Series/ Boarding/ JX-Series - 18,720
  18. Ford Ka(S.Am.) - 16,643
  19. Ford Taurus - 16,563
  20. JMC Qingka/ Carrying/ Convey - 16,543
  21. Ford Ranger II - 16,039
  22. Ford EcoSport - 14,548
  23. Ford S-Max - 13,319
  24. Ford Expedition - 11,154
  25. Ford Flex - 7,671
  26. Lincoln MkZ - 7,302
  27. Lincoln MkX - 7,277
  28. Ford Galaxy - 7,217
  29. Ford Cargo - 6,835
  30. Ford Falcon - 4,891
  31. Ford Fusion(Euro) - 4,675
  32. Ford Fiesta(Indian)/ Ikon(S.Af.) - 4,596
  33. Ford Territory - 3,884
  34. Ford Crown Victoria - 3,827
  35. JMC Yusheng - 3,653
  36. Lincoln MkS - 3,420
  37. Landwind/ X6/ X8/ X9 - 3,354
  38. Ford F-Series(S.Am.) - 2,240
  39. Lincoln Navigator - 2,206
  40. Ford Courier - 1,825
  41. Ford MkT - 1,608
  42. Ford Heavy Trucks - 1,425
  43. Ford Econovan - 904
  44. Ford Everest/ Endeavor - 742
  45. Ford Bantam - 737
  46. Lincoln Town Car - 477
  47. Troller T4 - 237
  48. Ford I-Max - 236
  49. Landwind Fashion/ CV9 - 171

Lincoln Mark LT - Unknown

*Models that have ended production are in BOLD*

Sales by Category

Cars
City - 20,810
Sub-Compact - 235,639
Compact - 236,261
Mid-Size - 117,398
Full-Size - 29,178

Utility Vehicles including MPVs
Sub-Compact - 19,223
Compact - 125,654
Mid-Size - 116,446
Full-Size - 22,639

Trucks & Ute Vans
Sub-Compact - 2,562
Compact - 54,109
Mid-Size - 20,327
Full-Size - 260,928
Medium Duty - 1,425
Cab-Over - 23,378

Specialty
Pony Car - 21,497