Ford in Middle East's "fast lane" with record sales, Lebanon leading the way in purchases
Lebanon topped Ford’s ranking of Middle Eastern countries in terms of sales growth (Courtesy of the Economist)
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Ford Middle East has entered the fast lane having reported today its record sale of 85,000 cars during 2013, a 12 percent increase from last year.
Lebanon topped Ford’s ranking of Middle Eastern countries by sales growth, said Thierry Sabbagh, the company’s sales director, with a 120 percent rise.
Iraq was a close second with a 100 percent growth from the previous year.
Kuwait posted the lowest sales growth in the region, Sabbagh told Al Arabiya News, without specifying a percentage.
“We had some challenges in Kuwait last year, but we are now in the recovery period.”
Kalyana Sivagnanam, the director of Middle East and North Africa at Ford MEA said, "This region had a growth of over 12 percent the last year alone, and has grown by over 50 percent in the last four years."
In January, Ford established a new business unit specifically for the Middle East and Africa region to operate as an independent headquarters, " rather than just a regional office [operated from the U.S.]," added the director.
After witnessing consistent sales growth, the automobile company is now aiming to expand its reach even further.
"In 2013, Ford will launch seven new products, and in the next 24 months, we will be launching 17 new or refreshed products. That is about one new product every 45 days," said Sivagnanam.
Ford Middle East has also expanded its dealership network, launching “20 new locations [across the region], and in the next two years, we expect to open 14 new sales and service locations to be close to the customer," he added.
The Lincoln brand showed a regional growth of 50 percent, whereas in the UAE itself, we grew the Lincoln brand by almost 100 percent [in 2013]," Sabbagh said.
The top executives praised the performance of their local dealers in the UAE, such as the Al Tayer Motors and Premier Motors, in their contribution to the record sales growth of 33 percent in 2013.
The sales results come shortly after Ford Motor Company announced 2,493,918 unit sales in the U.S., highlighting the brand as America's best-selling vehicle brand for the fourth consecutive year, according to statements released by the company.
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