APA – Across the Asia Pacific and Africa region, Ford Motor Company is reporting a solid March sales performance, with some markets doubling – or even tripling – their sales figures with the introduction of new products. Growth was mainly driven by the Ford Fiesta, Focus, Figo and Ranger pickup.
Ford China sold 55,292 vehicles in the world’s biggest auto market this March, a 24 percent increase compared to the same period last year. China sales were led by the Focus, with 18,247 units sold, a 23 percent year-on-year increase. The upgraded 2011 Mondeo has quickly won the hearts and minds of Chinese customers with 6,901 unit sales since its launch in mid-March.
"Our strong first quarter sales demonstrate that Chinese consumers are increasingly gravitating towards Ford vehicles," said Joe Hinrichs, APA president and chairman and CEO of Ford Motor China. Total first quarter sales for Ford China reached 140,566 units, up 19 percent from Q1 2010.
"We will be moving quickly to bring more of the vehicles Chinese consumers want and value to China and this region,” Hinrichs added. “At the upcoming Shanghai Auto Show, we will unveil groundbreaking Ford products and technologies for the first time in Asia, including three electrified vehicles and a new concept SUV of the future.”
Jiangling Motors Corporation (JMC), Ford's commercial vehicle investment in China, set a new quarterly record by posting sales of 55,443 units in the first quarter, a 34 percent year-on-year increase. JMC’s record-setting performance was largely driven by rising demand for the Ford Transit van. Changan Ford Mazda Automobile, Ford's passenger vehicle joint-venture in China, sold 42,157 units in March, up 16 percent from last year.
First quarter 2011 sales for the APA region set a new record of 241,831 units, up 28 percent from the same period last year.
"Our strong first quarter sales demonstrate that consumers are increasingly gravitating towards high-performing Ford vehicles which offer a great combination of attributes including fuel-efficiency, smart design and technologies and value for money," Hinrichs said.
Ford India posted another 10,000-plus sales month in March: with 10,485 units sold, it was the best selling month in Ford India’s history. The Figo also saw its best sales month ever in March, a promising sign as Ford India prepares to ship the super sub-compact to Mexico – its third export market.
Quarterly sales figures nearly doubled. From January to March 2011, India recorded sales of 29,804 units, a 97 percent jump over the same period last year. With this phenomenal accomplishment, production at Ford India has surpassed 100,000 units in a single financial year (April 2010-March 2011), a benchmark that very few Indian auto makers can match.
"We are delighted to see our sales figures reaching 10,000-plus twice in the last three months – in January as well as in March 2011 – making this our best-selling financial year ever. The production of 100,000 vehicles in a single financial year has placed us right at the forefront among leading manufacturers in India," said Michael Boneham, president and managing director of Ford India.
The ASEAN region likewise enjoyed an impressive performance in March, exceeding expectations with sales of 6,567 units – more than double March 2010 figures. Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia all posted year-on-year monthly sales increases of more than 200 percent.
ASEAN President Peter Fleet noted that Ford Japan, despite the disruptions caused by last month’s devastating earthquake and tsunami, delivered respectable numbers for the month of March and Q1 2011. “We must all commend [Ford Japan President] Tim’s Tucker’s team in Tokyo for getting back on their feet and delivering a performance very close to prior year,” Fleet said.
In Thailand, the globally popular Fiesta continued to show its competitive strength by recording its 10,000th sale since its launch in September 2010. Thailand’s numbers were also boosted by brisk sales of the Ford Ranger, which rose 46 percent compared to March 2010. Sales of Ford Focus rose 42 percent and Everest sales were up 24 percent, year-on-year.
Ford Motor Indonesia (FMI) sales jumped by 200 percent in March, compared to the same period last year. It was FMI’s best March sales performance ever. The three-fold rise was driven by strong sales across FMI’s entire product lineup, with each nameplate posting significant year-on-year gains.
The tough and reliable Ford Ranger was FMI’s top seller in March: Ranger sales rose 69 percent from the same month last year. The Fiesta also marked its best monthly performance to date in Indonesia since its successful November launch.
Ford Group Philippines (FGP) reported its best quarterly sales of Ford brand vehicles, with first quarter sales soaring 74 percent year-on-year. FGP closed its record-setting quarter with a record-breaking month: March sales jumped 66 percent from the same month last year, marking FGP’s highest monthly sales to date. The surge in sales during the first three months of the year was led by the incredible success of the All-New Ford Fiesta, with strong demand for the Everest and Escape SUVs and the Ford Ranger pickup.
In Vietnam, Everest, Focus and Ranger models were the company’s top sellers. March sales of the Ford Focus more than doubled year-on-year.I
In Taiwan, Ford Lio Ho (FLH) reported its best March performance in five years. Strong March sales of 3,499 units marked a year-on-year increase of 28.4 percent. FLH sold 10,521 vehicles in the first quarter of 2011, up 36.4 percent from the same period last year.
Australia turned in a March performance that validated Ford’s winning strategy to provide more fuel efficient cars to consumers. Monthly sales resulted in a combined all-time record performance for Ford Australia’s four-cylinder nameplates: the Fiesta, Focus, Mondeo and Escape. This marked the best four-cylinder sales month for Ford Australia since 1989, contributing to overall year-on-year Q1 sales growth of 39.6 percent.
Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa (FMCSA) cemented its standing as an top-four manufacturer in South Africa, with strong sales coming from the Ranger and Figo. FMCSA saw a 33.1 percent month-to-month sales increase in March 2011, a 10.7 percent increase compared to the same period last year. FMCSA’s passenger vehicle sales out-performed domestic auto industry market growth in March, rising 55.2 percent.