JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, – Ford Motor Company today announced an aggressive product acceleration in its newest business unit, Middle East & Africa, leveraging the company’s One Ford global portfolio and targeting opportunities for growth in small, mid-size and large vehicle segments.
Ford pledged to launch at least 25 new vehicles by 2016 to Middle East & Africa – making the announcement during a special "Go Further" event in Johannesburg attended by 1,000 employees, Ford dealers, suppliers, government officials, and media.
The company also confirmed that several additional vehicles from its global portfolio will come to Middle East & Africa in the near term – including the iconic American sports car, the Ford Mustang.
"Today, we are accelerating the introduction of our new products in Middle East & Africa, leveraging our One Ford plan – with a full family of vehicles offering the very best quality, fuel efficiency, safety, smart design and value," said Jim Benintende, president, Ford Middle East & Africa. "Middle East & Africa spans Saudi Arabia to South Africa, and from Nigeria to Kenya, so customer tastes are as diverse as our markets. Thanks to our One Ford plan, we can offer vehicles and technology that customers want and value, tailored to the needs of our markets."
Ford’s Middle East & Africa product offensive saw the company today announce:
• New Focus – a sleeker, more advanced and more refined version the world’s best-selling nameplate – goes on sale in Middle East & Africa in 2015
• New Fusion, a striking new version of Ford’s large car featuring premium design and craftsmanship, and smart technology, also goes on sale in Middle East this year and Africa next year
• The Ford Mustang, the iconic American sports car, is coming to Middle East & Africa in 2015
• An acceleration of the rollout of new technologies in Middle East & Africa including EcoBoost engines, SYNC in-car connectivity, inflatable rear seat belts, MyKey and other driver assist technologies
Ford also showed an image of the Figo Concept, which previews Ford’s upcoming new global small car, which will be introduced in Africa. This car will offer design, fuel economy, quality and safety features normally found in more expensive cars.
The product acceleration announcement comes only six months after Ford realigned the four regions of North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, South Africa and the Middle East into a new single Ford Middle East & Africa business unit to better serve customers and expand in the fast-growing region.
"The total Middle East and Africa car market is expected to grow 40 percent by the end of the decade to 5.5 million vehicles," Benintende said. "Middle East & Africa is the final frontier for global automotive growth and we are putting the infrastructure and people in place to participate in this growth with the introduction of new products, leveraging our One Ford global strengths."
Sub-Saharan Africa Region
The next two years will see a major expansion of Ford’s vehicle and technology line-up in South Africa. In total, 17 vehicles will be launched or refreshed, including new Ford Focus, Fusion, Ranger XL-Plus, Transit and Mustang.
"Our vision is to become the first choice for mobility in Africa and our event today underscores our commitment to serve customers throughout Africa," said Jeff Nemeth, president and CEO of Ford Sub-Sahara African Region. "Staying connected is more important than ever for customers globally and in Africa. Our cars and trucks have technology that allows drivers to stay connected safely, with hands on the wheel and eyes on the road."
Figo Concept promises smart, affordable future
At the Go Further event, Ford showed images of the Figo Concept previews Ford’s next-generation, compact, smart small vehicle. Figo Concept suggests a production version with capability and powertrain features customers want at an affordable price point. One noteworthy feature in the concept includes an innovative dock for mounting and charging devices such as mobile phones, media players, and satellite navigation systems.
The stylish all-new Ford Fusion offers striking design and premium-level interior craftsmanship. All-new Fusion delivers segment-first adaptive full LED headlamps; SYNC with MyFord Touch, which includes an eight-inch colour touchscreen. "The new Fusion changes perceptions of Ford large cars by offering an unbeatable blend of premium design, craftsmanship and smart technology without the premium price," said Nemeth.
Mustang coming to Middle East & Africa
The legendary Mustang, which will be available with both an EcoBoost engine as well as its hallmark V8 powertrain, will go on sale in Middle East and African markets next year.
"The all-new Mustang is out of the stable," says Benintende. "The Mustang is uniquely Ford and has a huge fan base in the Middle East – the second largest market outside North America – as well as Africa. Now those fans have something to look forward to and we look forward to providing more details in the near future."
Leading the charge for smart, connected motoring
The best of all the technologies from Ford will be introduced in vehicles throughout the region, including EcoBoost engines, SYNC 2 connectivity, Active Park Assist, Active City Stop, Adaptive Cruise Control, Blind Spot Information System with Cross-Traffic Alert, Rear View Camera, and Lane-Keeping System.
"In many ways ‘Go Further’ is a modern interpretation of Henry Ford’s vision to open the highways to all mankind, and the freedom that comes with both personal transportation and economic development," said Benintende. "Ford is helping realize his vision today in this part of the world."