The Ford Focus remains Ford of Europe’s best selling vehicle, with 157,000 units sold so far this year. But the new Ford Fiesta, celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, is following hard on its heels.
Fiesta sales in April were 27,100 units, an increase of 5 per cent from April 2005. In the first four months of 2006, Ford in Europe sold 131,100 Fiestas, up 9 per cent from the same period in 2005. Together with the Ford Fusion, sales of Ford’s small cars in 2006 totalled 162,800 units, a 9 per cent gain from the respective period of 2005. Both vehicles received exterior and interior upgrades late last year to complement their acclaimed driving dynamics.
It is not only in the new car market where Ford is enjoying success. The latest available sales statistics confirm that since January this year the Ford Transit is the leading commercial vehicle nameplate across Europe. In the UK, the Transit has been the commercial vehicle market leader every year since it was launched in 1966. In April 2006, Ford sold 116,100 vehicles across Western Europe, 8,800 units less than 2005. Market share for the Ford brand was 7.7 per cent, a decline of 0.3 per-centage points versus last year. The decrease in Ford of Europe’s overall sales volume and market share performance is primarily the result of a 9.1 per cent decline in the total UK new car market in April.
Ford sales for the January-April period were 529,000 units, down 6,300 units from the same period a year ago, also reflecting the difficult sales environment in the UK. Market share for the first four months was 8.5 per cent, a decline of 0.2 percentage points.
Meantime, Ford had another strong performance in emerging markets, including Russia and Turkey. In April the company sold 8,200 units in Russia, more than doubling its sales performance from April 2005, and gained an import market share of 14.5 per cent versus 8.8 per cent in 2005. Year-to-date, Ford has sold 23,800 vehicles in Russia, 11,000 units more than in the first four months of 2005. Sales in Turkey so far this year were 32,700 units, a nearly 9 per cent increase from the same period a year ago. Ford remains the market leader in Turkey, with a 16.7 per cent share for January-April, up from 16.4 per cent from last year.
"As market leader in the UK, Ford sales feel the affect of slower demand in that region more than others," said Stephen Odell, vice president of marketing, sales and service. "We are fully confident that we will retain overall market leadership for the year in the UK, without resorting to pursuing unprofitable business. Elsewhere, we continue to have tremendous success in emerging markets, which we expect to continue to grow strongly in the future."