Buoyed by strong demand on Ford and Lincoln products, Ford Middle East posted nearly 20 per cent higher sales for the first half of 2013 versus the same period last year, while the company registered the best June sales on record with a 36 per cent growth over June 2012. The positive sales are attributed to the growing popularity of Ford and Lincoln products sold in the Middle East, a further recognition and seal of approval from customers on marked improvements in quality and top-notch innovations on the new model range.
Ford Motor Company in the US also registered an increase by 13 per cent for sales in June compared to the same month in 2012, the best ever registered since 2006. Overall year-to-date figures also posted positive change with nearly 14 per cent increase versus the same period last year.
Ford is leading a major global shift to fuel-efficient and functional utility vehicles, growing its sales in the last five years faster than any other Ford vehicle segment and faster than the industry average. Ford’s brand retail utility share is now more than 15 percent in the first quarter, almost 6 percentage points higher than 2006.
The same is true here in the Middle East. Growth was boosted by the surge in sales of SUVs and trucks, up by 24 per cent during the first half. Among the Ford utility vehicles, Flex posted the highest gains with a 78 per cent increase followed by the popular Ford Edge which saw a 40 per cent growth.
Trucks showed what Built Ford Tough means as the compact Ranger pick-up sales soared by 350 per cent and F-150 rose by 170 per cent.
Among the sedans, Ford Taurus continued to lead the passenger car segment posting a 135 per cent increase. The legendary Mustang continued to be a favourite muscle car as it registered nearly 50 per cent rise in sales.
Lincoln also took the limelight with triple digit growth for crossover Lincoln MKX which went up by 160 per cent, the highest gain recorded by the brand for the period under review, followed by the Lincoln MKS sedan which saw a 133 per cent growth.
“Our extensive portfolio continues to drive our business with substantial growth in both retail and fleet sales,” said Thierry Sabbagh, Ford Middle East’s director of Sales. “Once again, our results confirm the continued demand for our products and the innovative technologies we offer. Further, this illustrates that our customers place a high trust on the products that we offer which feature unique innovations and technologies, as well as outstanding value and after-sales support.”
He added: “This success wouldn't have been possible without the relentless commitment of our dealers and their drive to grow their network and service facilities across the region. Together we remain more than ever determined on further enhancing the level of after sales services as well as providing some of the highest levels of customer satisfaction in the region.”
Lebanon posted the highest increase in sales during the first six months of this year, with 232 per cent, while Iraq came in second with sales growing by 143 per cent. In the GCC, Bahrain took the lead in sales with a 90 per cent increase followed by 38 per cent from Qatar and Oman. Sales in Saudi Arabia grew by 22 per cent and by eight per cent in the UAE. Kuwait showed strong sales in trucks with a 14 per cent increase. Jordan also showed strength with sales rising by 35 per cent.
Strong commitment to Quality
Thanks to its strong commitment to quality, Ford continues to earn raves for its products. Most recently, Ford Fusion has been named a KBB.com 2013 Best Family Car for its eye-catching exterior, variety of powertrains, available all-wheel drive and technology features.
The Ford F-150 has been named winner of the 2013 Light-Duty Challenge by the editors of PickupTrucks.com and Popular Mechanics Magazine.
In terms of technologies, the most recognizable innovation and a popular choice among customers are Ford SYNC voice-controlled connectivity and MyFord Touch touch screen. Both technologies are attracting more customers and in the US, outsell competitors at a much higher rate, as MyFord Touch helps drive higher customer satisfaction with vehicle quality.
With Ford products showing remarkable improvements in terms of quality, Ford Middle East and its dealers are closely working on network expansions in the GCC, Levant and Iraq, whether in dealership facilities, service centers and parts distribution outlets to provide unparalleled customer service. There are over 60 new Ford and Lincoln sales and service facilities underway region-wide to serve the ever growing customer base.
In terms of service, Ford expects to increase the number of Quick Lane and Quick Parts outlets in the GCC, with 40 branches scheduled to be opened in 2013 to help provide a wider reach for customer service and genuine Ford and MotorCraft spare parts.