Ford ME customer base increases 15 per cent
Strong sales of passenger cars and SUVs across the Ford, Lincoln and Mercury brands in the Middle East during the first seven months of 2006 have increased Ford Middle East’s overall sales by 15 per cent - and the car-maker expects continued growth in all categories for the rest of the year.
Ford's newly appointed managing director for the Middle East, Waldo Galan, explained that the growth was driven by an expanding dealer network across the region, coupled with the introduction of new products and increasing levels of customer satisfaction.
“Ford enjoys the confidence of thousands of customers across the Middle East, and we are witnessing growing numbers of satisfied customers as our dealers dedicate more and more effort and investment to delivering the best possible ownership experience in their markets,” said Galan, an industry veteran with over 30 years’ experience.
Ford posted strong sales in the Middle East, with established nameplates like the Explorer and Focus building on their popularity. Sales of the Ford Explorer, the world’s biggest-selling SUV, from January to July end were up 40 per cent compared to the same period last year.
The Ford Focus sales were up 45 per cent fuelled by the introduction of the new body-style, while the Lincoln LS sports sedan more than doubled its sales, recording a 128 per cent growth. The F-Series truck range was the first Ford nameplate to go on sale in the Gulf, and the enduring popularity of the line-up across the region saw sales shoot up 62 per cent in the first seven months of 2006.
A leader in the large-size E segment, Ford’s Crown Victoria delivered growth of 13 per cent, and the Ford Fiesta small car, a comparatively new arrival in the region, has made a noticeable impact on consumers with a six per cent jump in sales.
Ford’s famous sports car, the Mustang, accelerated sales by nearly 20 per cent from January to July 31, and the Blue Oval’s popular mid-size SUV, the Ford Escape, recorded a sales increase of 12 per cent.
Elsewhere in the SUV category, the transformation of the Mercury and Lincoln brands is being spearheaded by the success of the new Mercury Mountaineer and Lincoln Navigator. For the first seven months of 2006, Mountaineer sales rocketed 140 per cent, and sales of the Navigator leapt 26 per cent.
Galan said: “The Ford brand is making excellent progress in the region, and more and more of its great nameplates are becoming household names with customers in the Middle East and Levant.
“Ford offers tremendous choice and value with one of the biggest product line-ups of any manufacturer, and our access to the latest vehicles from Ford’s manufacturing bases in Europe, North America and Asia means that we can offer customers amazing diversity in terms of design, capability, comfort and performance.”
Galan recently took over management of Ford’s Middle East operations from Jim Benintende, who has been promoted to general manager of the Ford Customer Service Division for the Mid-South region in the United States.
He earlier served as executive director of Ford Chile for five years where he was also responsible for the company’s activities in Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Paraguay, and Uruguay. Galan also served as Fleet Sales director for Ford Motor Company’s Export Operations running fleet sales in 117 markets prior to heading over to the region.
He added: “I’m excited by the potential for Ford in the Middle East, and the ongoing cooperation and ambition of our importer-dealers represent a great asset.”
Galan said Ford would continue to support its healthy regional performance by focusing on strengthening its vast dealer network in the region, and bringing Ford’s latest world-class models within the reach of more and more customers.
Underlining the need for a bold approach to bring Ford’s rich legacy of innovation and technology to more people in the region, he added: “Ford is undoubtedly one of the world’s best known companies, with a proud heritage of innovation and an enviable portfolio of great nameplates. We will use this hard-earned reputation to enhance the communities we live and work in.”