COLOGNE, Germany – Ford Motor Company increased sales volume and market share in Europe in April as strong demand for the all-new Focus and C-MAX and improved performance in Germany helped the company buck the overall industry sales decline.
In the traditional 19 European markets, Ford sales in April increased by 0.7 percentage points to 101,900, while the overall European market saw a 2.5 per cent sales decline. Ford’s market share increased by 0.2 percentage points compared with a year ago to 8 per cent. In April and through the first four months of the year, Ford was Europe’s second best-selling car brand.
“We’re fortunate to have successful new products in the new Focus and C-MAX, which helped Ford achieve a solid April,” said Roelant de Waard, vice president, Marketing, Sales and Service, Ford of Europe. “More customers are recognising that cars like the C-MAX and Focus offer not only high levels of quality and comfort, but also feature customer-focused technologies often only found in far more expensive premium cars.
Ford sold 12,000 Focus units in April and nearly 25,000 units in total since the popular five-door model went on sale in mid-March.
“With the launch of the Focus wagon and four-door models this month across Europe, we have good momentum heading into the summer,” de Waard said.
The new five-seat C-MAX and seven-seat Grand C-MAX also is proving to be a hit with customers, with 11,300 units sold in April, the best result since April 2004, and more than 56,000 units sold since the vehicle was launched late last year. Sales of Ford's S-MAX and Galaxy models were also strong, increasing by 66 per cent and 59 per cent, respectively.
Ford’s commercial vehicle market share of 8.7 percent marked the company’s best performance in April since 2008. Transit sales were up by 33 per cent in April, and it was Ford's No.2 best-selling vehicle for the month.
"Our strategy to strike the right balance between revenue, volume, and market expense and brand value is working, as shown by first quarter financial results – a pre-tax profit of $293 million," de Waard said.
Ford sales in April in the growth markets in the European region continued to grow. Ford sales in Russia, Turkey and Eastern Europe rose by 31, 51 and 36 per cent, respectively. Ford posted a market share of 15.3 per cent in Turkey in April, a record April for Ford in the country.
At 7.5 per cent – up by 0.6 percentage points from April 2010 – Ford recorded its best April share in Germany since 2003. This result built on the continuing positive trend for Ford in the country, with a year-to-date market share of 7.4 per cent, up 0.4 percentage points on the same period last year.
Ford retained market leadership in the UK and Turkey in April, and is the market leader in the UK, Hungary and Turkey through the first four months of the year. Ford also was the top imported brand in Italy for April and year-to-date.
Ford increased its market share in Britain, Germany, France, Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Ireland, The Netherlands, Sweden, Russia and Turkey in the first four months of 2011.
Overall, Ford's total European sales in its 50 markets were 128,500 units in April, up 6.8 per cent or 8,100 units on April last year.
Year-to-date 2011 sales
In its traditional 19 European markets, 454,300 new Ford vehicles were registered in the first four months of 2011, a reduction of 38,600 or 7.8 per cent from the same period last year.
Year-to-date market share in Ford's traditional 19 European markets was 8.4 per cent, down 0.6 percentage points compared to 2010. The lower sales and market share reflect the favourable impact of scrappage schemes still in place in the early part of 2010, which helped to boost Ford's small car sales in the first part of 2010, as well as Ford’s decision to selectively reduce participation in low margin business.
Across its total 50 markets across Europe, Ford sold 540,400 vehicles in the first four months of 2011, down 10,400 or 1.9 percent compared to the same period 2010.