Posted 05-11-2012 at 12:10 PM by
[QUOTE=ausrutherford;51862][B][I]Sales of Focus Up; China, Europe Hit the Wall[/I][/B]
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 America’s 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 Europe’s sales could actually rise a lot thanks to these new, “cheap” plants.
Ford of China’s 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 Ford’s 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 Ford’s 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 [URL="http://bestsellingcarsblog.com/"]Best Selling Cars[/URL].
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.
[B][U][SIZE="5"]Sales by Category[/SIZE][/U][/B]
[LIST=1][*]Ford Focus - 236,261[*]Ford Fiesta(World/LA) - 189,246[*]Ford F-Series(World)/ Lobo - 170,913[*]Ford Escape/ Kuga - 91,632[*]Ford Fusion(World) - 69,460[*]Ford Transit V,VII - 56,650[*]Ford Mondeo - 40,636[*]Ford Edge - 39,298[*]Ford Explorer - 38,444[*]Ford C-Max - 32,636[*]Ford E-Series - 31,125[*]Ford Figo/ Ikon(Mx) - 25,154[*]Ford Mustang - 21,497[*]Ford Ka(Euro) - 20,810[*]Ford Ranger(World) - 19,423[*]Ford Transit Connect - 19,350[*]JMC Boadian/ BD-Series/ Boarding/ JX-Series - 18,720[*]Ford Ka(S.Am.) - 16,643[*]Ford Taurus - 16,563[*]JMC Qingka/ Carrying/ Convey - 16,543[*][B]Ford Ranger II - 16,039[/B][*]Ford EcoSport - 14,548[*]Ford S-Max - 13,319[*]Ford Expedition - 11,154[*]Ford Flex - 7,671[*]Lincoln MkZ - 7,302[*]Lincoln MkX - 7,277[*]Ford Galaxy - 7,217[*]Ford Cargo - 6,835[*]Ford Falcon - 4,891[*][B]Ford Fusion(Euro) - 4,675[/B][*]Ford Fiesta(Indian)/ Ikon(S.Af.) - 4,596[*]Ford Territory - 3,884[*][B]Ford Crown Victoria - 3,827[/B][*]JMC Yusheng - 3,653[*]Lincoln MkS - 3,420[*]Landwind/ X6/ X8/ X9 - 3,354[*][B]Ford F-Series(S.Am.) - 2,240[/B][*]Lincoln Navigator - 2,206[*]Ford Courier - 1,825[*]Ford MkT - 1,608[*]Ford Heavy Trucks - 1,425[*]Ford Econovan - 904[*]Ford Everest/ Endeavor - 742[*][B]Ford Bantam - 737[/B][*][B]Lincoln Town Car - 477[/B][*]Troller T4 - 237[*][B]Ford I-Max - 236[/B][*]Landwind Fashion/ CV9 - 171[/LIST]
Lincoln Mark LT - Unknown
*Models that have ended production are in [B]BOLD[/B]*
[B][U][SIZE="5"]Sales by Category[/SIZE][/U][/B]
City - 20,810
Sub-Compact - 235,639
Compact - 236,261
Mid-Size - 117,398
Full-Size - 29,178
[SIZE="4"][B]Utility Vehicles[/B][/SIZE] [I]including MPVs[/I]
Sub-Compact - 19,223
Compact - 125,654
Mid-Size - 116,446
Full-Size - 22,639
[B][SIZE="4"]Trucks & Ute Vans[/SIZE][/B]
Sub-Compact - 2,562
Compact - 54,109
Mid-Size - 20,327
Full-Size - 260,928
Medium Duty - 1,425
Cab-Over - 23,378
Pony Car - 21,497[/QUOTE]