COLOGNE, Germany – Ford made a strong sales start in Europe in 2014, posting year-over-year sales improvements for the tenth straight month in March and the fourth consecutive quarter.
While industry sales volumes grew by 10 per cent in March and 8 per cent in the first quarter, Ford outpaced the overall market with 12 and 11 per cent sales volumes increases, respectively.
“Our first quarter sales results show that our plan to invest in product and launch more new vehicles – 10 alone in 2014 – is beginning to have a very positive impact with customers,” said Roelant de Waard, vice president, Marketing, Sales and Service, Ford of Europe. “Just as important as absolute sales growth, we are growing our business with retail customers and desirable fleet customers.”
Ford sales volumes to European retail and fleet customers increased by one percentage point to 73 per cent of total sales in the first quarter, two percentage points above industry average. Likewise, Ford sales in less profitable market segments – such as daily rentals and dealer registrations – declined year-over-year to 27 per cent in in the first quarter, down from 28 per cent a year ago.
Ford sales in the UK – Ford’s biggest European market by sales volume – grew by 13 pe rcent in March and 11 per cent in the first quarter, making Ford again the clear market leader. In Germany, Ford sales improved by 19 pe rcent in March and 24 per cent in the first quarter, while market share was up 0.8 of a percentage point in March and 1.0 percentage point year-to-date.
Ford’s commercial vehicle sales totalled about 50,000 in the first quarter, up 10 per cent. CV market share was 10.4 per cent, up 0.2 percentage points and the highest for Ford since 1998.
More than 326,000 vehicles were sold by Ford in its main 22 European markets in the first quarter of the year. Fiesta and Focus were the No. 1 and No. 2 top-selling Ford vehicles for the first three months of the year. Fiesta sales were up by 7 per cent.
The Kuga was the third best-selling Ford vehicle in Europe, with sales of 23,400 up by 56 per cent compared to the first three months of last year.