Ford and Lincoln products have seen their sales in the GCC jump by 55 percent so far this year at a time when the region's industry performance was relatively flat, according to Ford Middle East's managing director, Larry Prein. Speaking to the media at the Dubai International Motorshow's opening day, Prein said the company is well on its way to set another record year, thanks to its strong products, expanding dealer network and increasing customer satisfaction levels.
Ford's continued flow of segment-leading products is more than evident on its stand inside Sheikh Saeed hall, with the regional debut of the much anticipated all-new 2012 Ford Focus and the all-new Ford Ranger 1-tonne pickup truck joining the extensive lineup of new-gen Ford models such as the all-new Ford Explorer, Edge, Taurus, Mustang, and F-Series.
“We delivered a solid performance this year and we're very pleased with the results. Clearly our solid product lineup is leading the way for our growth and this marks another proof point in the ongoing success of the One Ford plan," said Prein. "We continue to serve our customers by offering them the products and technologies that they want, while continuously working with our dealers on delivering some of the best vehicle ownership experiences in the region.
"We currently offer a strong contender in almost every segment, from the B-Car Figo thru to the Explorer mid-size SUV, and the heavy duty F-Series trucks. It’s more than evident that the models we have introduced recently are striking a chord with customers and we’re certain this trend will continue well into 2012 as customers increasingly look to Ford as a preferred option," Prein said.
Committed to the Middle East
The outlook for 2012 remains positive for Ford according to Prein, thanks to continued network expansions and major regional investments to help support Ford's growing customer base and dealerships.
Ford is planning to open additional facilities in Saudi Arabia next year, with expansions also planned in Iraq and elsewhere throughout the region. But perhaps one of the most important areas that Ford Middle East has been taking actions on this year is customer service and after sales. "As our dealer network and customer base expand, it is only natural that we increase our focus on customer service and the after sales experience," Prein added.
"We have invested in major customer satisfaction initiatives over the past year or so, such as our increased product engineering and testing actions as well as ongoing dealer training efforts. This week we take it forward and register an important milestone in Ford Motor Company's history in the Middle East with the opening of our Middle East Parts Distribution Center in Jebel Ali from which we will support our entire regional network and provide parts faster."
The all-new 2012 Ford Focus
When it was introduced in 1998, the original Ford Focus brought new levels of agility and responsiveness to the C segment. The next-generation Focus plans to raise the benchmark once more, targeting class-leading driving quality that blends outstanding steering precision and road feedback with significantly improved refinement and ride control.
The new Focus features an advanced Torque Vectoring Control system fitted as standard, which enhances cornering stability and agility. This technology has, up to now, typically only been available on premium sports vehicles.
Ford engineers have also retuned and enhanced the innovative suspension concepts from prior models, developing optimised new designs for the ‘Control Blade’ multilink rear suspension and the semi-isolated front subframe. The chassis design now incorporates a completely new Electric Power Assist Steering system.
With over 10 million units sold since its launch in 1998, the Ford Focus has become a firm favourite with consumers worldwide for its outstanding value, comfort and safety, and above all, for being great fun to drive. Following an unprecedented global development program, the next-generation Ford Focus is set to continue the successful tradition of its predecessors.
Distinguished by its sleek and sporty design, the new Focus is packed with more affordable technologies and features than ever before in this segment. The next-generation Focus also offers customers the highest standards of quality and detailed craftsmanship, outstanding fuel economy, and takes the legendary Focus driving dynamics to a new level.
The all-new 2012 Ford Ranger
For nearly 20 years, Ranger has been one of Ford’s most popular pickups across the globe. It has provided millions of buyers with Ford Tough Truck capabilities – hauling heavy payloads, pulling trailers and absorbing punishment on the roughest roads. The all-new Ford Ranger now has even more capability but has been transformed into a taut, toned and muscular contemporary shape exuding strength and toughness.
With an all-new chassis frame, front and rear suspension and steering system, Ranger delivers more payload and outstanding towing capability. It is powered by a choice of three new, fuel-efficient powertrains, including two state-of-the-art common-rail Ford Duratorq TDCi diesels and new fuel-efficient six-speed transmissions. Add in more chassis and safety technologies, and the story of Ranger pickup truck leadership becomes as vivid as its powerful, purposeful stance.
From impressive gains in power and safety to exceptional towing capability, the next-generation Ford Ranger emerges as a clear segment leader. It not only builds on the tremendous Ranger heritage of pickup truck capability, but it also gives truck owners a spacious, comfortable, feature-filled interior and sophisticated driving experience they would expect to find only in a car.
The all-new global Ford Ranger delivers more while sipping less, thanks to highly fuel-efficient engines that give the truck the power and torque to get the job done without hurting the wallet.
Additionally, tor the first time, selected Ranger diesel models will be available with either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission to provide reduced engine rpm and extend its range on long highway trips or in city traffic. This also makes Ranger the first pickup of its class to get a six-speed automatic transmission. Petrol models have a standard five-speed manual transmission.
Ford Action All The Way
Visitors to the Ford stand inside the Sheikh Saeed Hall at the Dubai International Motorshow will get a chance to experience the latest Ford products and technologies in fun and engaging ways:
Ford Focus Graffiti contest: two finalists from Saudi Arabia and the UAE have been selected from a FaceBook competition to bring their Graffiti art to life on two real Ford Focus models. These works will be displayed outside on the Plaza area throughout the show. Show visitors will then be able to vote for the best design on www.facebook.com/FordMiddleEast.
The Ford Focus simulator: Visitors get to race on a simulated rally course complete with road and vehicle feedback.
Ranger Truck challenge: Muscles are put to test at the towing challenge station for some arm wrestling show off.
Focus Control Blade wii game: Using wii driving pads visitors can navigate through a maze dynamically obtaining power on Ford logos.
Mustang Slot Car Racing: Friends and families, young or old, can race against each other on the Mustang slot car track.
Explorer Theatre: Guests can sit inside the Explorer to learn about key features and benefits including MyFordTouch.
Explorer Cut-away display: Showcases key attributes of the Explorer SPACE architecture and how it is designed to help channel crash forces in the event of an accident.
Safety Table: Highlights crash avoidance technologies offered by Ford, where visitors can also touch and feel an inflatable rear seat airbag, and see how the Ford exclusive Trinity front crash structure works.
Smart Table: Focuses on the latest Ford Smart technology including voice activation, MyFordTouch and all relevant SYNC features.