COLOGNE, Germany – Ford of Europe’s market share rose slightly in the first quarter of 2012 on solid demand for newer entries such as the Focus and C-MAX, but overall auto sales remained sluggish across the European auto industry.
In the first three months of 2012, Ford’s market share for the traditional 19 European markets totalled 8.5 per cent, up 0.1 per cent. Ford’s share in March was 9.2 per cent, down a tenth of a per cent from a year ago.
Ford’s first-quarter sales totalled 325,400 vehicles in the Euro 19 region, down 7.3 per cent from first quarter 2011. Ford’s first quarter sales decline was slightly less than the overall industry decline of 8.1 per cent.
“Ford turned in a solid first quarter performance in what remains a challenging time for the entire auto industry in Europe,” said Roelant de Waard, vice president, Marketing, Sales and Service, Ford of Europe. “We’re in a good position to build momentum this year with the class-leading Focus 1.0-litre EcoBoost now in dealerships and receiving acclaim from the leading motoring press, and the all-new B-MAX coming to market very soon.”
Overall, Ford was the No. 2 best-selling brand in the Euro 19 region in March and in the first quarter.
Ford’s sales in its total 51 European markets were 385,300 in the first quarter. This was down 6.3 per cent on the first quarter last year. In March, Ford sales in those markets were at 178,200, 7.6 per cent or 14,700 units lower compared with March 2011.
In Russia, Ford’s first quarter sales surged by 30 per cent to 27,200, with Ford’s market share in the country climbing 0.4 percentage points to 4.3 per cent. In Eastern Europe, Ford’s first quarter registrations totalled 12,200, up 17.7 per cent or 1,800 units on the same period 2011.
Ford retained market-leadership in March in the UK, Hungary and Turkey and was the leading import brand in the Czech Republic. For the first quarter 2012, Ford also continued to be the top-selling brand in the UK and in Hungary.
Ford increased its March market share in seven of its 19 markets -- Belgium, Finland, France, Hungary, Norway, Poland and Spain.
In the UK – Ford’s largest European market in March -- the company posted sales of 64,200 vehicles, with a market share of 15.3 per cent, 0.4 percentage points lower than a year ago. In the first quarter of the year, Ford’s share in the UK totaled 15.6 per cent, a decrease of 0.2 percentage points on the first quarter 2011.
Ford’s market share in Germany in March totalled 7.4 per cent, a reduction of 0.2 percentage points from a year ago. For the first quarter, Ford’s share in the Germany was 7.3 per cent, 0.1 percentage points lower than in the first quarter 2011. Ford’s sales volume in Germany was roughly flat compared to a year ago for March and the first quarter.
In Russia, Ford registrations in March totalled 11,500, up 7.8 per cent compared to March 2011. Ford’s market share in Russia fell by 0.2 percentage points to 4.4 per cent in March.
March was another strong month for Eastern European sales, with registrations of 4,800, or a sales gain of 21 per cent year-on year.