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Ford and Lincoln products reported 14 per cent growth in sales during the first quarter of 2013, registering the highest ever Q1 sales for the Middle East region. The strong boost comes as a result of the continued demand and growing popularity of the latest Ford and Lincoln models coupled with the marked improvements in quality and innovations across the range.
The positive news is also evident in North America. Ford Motor Company recently announced a pre-tax profit of US$2.1 billion in the first quarter driven by the highest North America profit in more than a decade. Net income was at US$1.6 billion, US$215 million higher during the same period in 2011.
In the Middle East, growth was boosted by the surge in sales of trucks and SUVs, up by 30 per cent during the first quarter. The Ford Edge remains one of the segment leaders with over 70 per cent growth recorded, while Built Ford Tough trucks, the Ford Ranger compact pickup and the F-150 full-size pickup led the strong performance, registering massive increases of 400 per cent and 215 per cent respectively. In fact, the F-Series registered the biggest growth in the segment – a remarkable achievement and proof of the growing popularity of America’s best-selling truck in the region. As for the Ford Expedition, the full size utility remains a popular GCC family SUV with about a 10 per cent growth.
Full-size crossover Lincoln MKT followed suit with a 343 per cent increase while Lincoln MKX and Navigator followed closely with gains of 296 per cent and 90 per cent, respectively.
The new Ford passenger cars also scored high in the first quarter with the Taurus flagship model maintaining its pole position as one of the segment leaders and recording an 88 per cent increase. The legendary muscle car, Mustang, saw a 79 per cent growth, while sales of the Fusion went up by 34 per cent and the new Focus – world’s best-selling nameplate for 2012 hands down – saw a 64 per cent boost.
“We’ve recorded quite a strong start to the year,” said Larry Prein, Ford Middle East’s managing director. “Our results so far prove our One Ford plan and strategy are paying off and we remain focused on the business together with our dealers, and work together to bring quality products that Ford and Lincoln customers want, featuring unique innovations and technologies as well as outstanding value and after-sales support.”
Thierry Sabbagh, Ford Middle East’s director of Sales said: “We have grown aggressively across the region thanks to the great new products we’ve rolled out and the continued support from our dealers who are keen on further expanding their network and customer base.
“It is more and more evident that our new generation models are gaining wider ground in the region today as shown by the tremendous growth recorded. Our new product range features award winning segment leaders, and we are confident that these nameplates together with the new products we will launch later this year will continue to drive our regional growth,” Sabbagh added.
Iraq posted the highest increase in sales during the first quarter this year, with almost 200 per cent thanks to the growing demand for Taurus, Edge, Explorer and Expedition models. In the GCC, Bahrain commanded the lead with a 65 per cent increase followed by 50 per cent from Oman and 42 per cent in Qatar. Saudi Arabia also saw a 16 per cent growth, while the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait showed strong sales in trucks and SUVs with 17 per cent and 16 per cent, respectively. In the Levant region, Ford and Lincoln sales grew by 38 per cent in Jordan, while they continued the steady growth in Lebanon following the appointment of the new importer-dealer.
Expanding in the Middle East
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. Currently there are over 60 new Ford and Lincoln sales and service facilities in process 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.
The $53m Middle East Regional Parts Distribution Centre in Jebel Ali, Dubai is already providing the necessary support to the regional customer base and dealerships of Ford and Lincoln in the region.