Ford products showed continued strength during the first quarter of 2011, posting an outstanding overall 52 per cent increase in GCC sales compared to the same period last year. The upswing in sales volume continues thanks to the growing popularity of Ford's new generation of strong products that were introduced to the region in the last quarter of 2010, with the new 2011 Ford Edge, Mustang, Taurus and Fusion leading the charge.
“It is a flying start for Ford in 2011, with a dynamic line up of award-winning, high quality products that customers have been giving great response to,” said Hussein Murad, Ford Middle East's director of Sales. "Ford is truly on the fast track. Our continued growth is testament to increased preference for our products in the region as we offer our customers not only world-class, award winning models that they desire, but also industry-leading technologies and some of the richest features packages - all at an unbeatable value."
In the UAE, sales saw an impressive 32 per cent increase over Q1 last year, with growth registered at 58 per cent for passenger cars and 20 per cent for utility vehicles and trucks.
Kuwait noted a major boost of 50 per cent during the first quarter of this year, driven by increasing retail as well as fleet businesses, further cementing Ford's lead in the Kuwaiti market. Kuwait currently holds the title for Ford's highest market share in the region.
The highest performing market for the GCC was Saudi Arabia, with sales of Ford and Lincoln products increasing by a staggering 75 per cent over Q1 2010.
Ford's GCC growth was driven by demand across the Ford and Lincoln range of vehicles, with passenger cars up by 43 per cent, led by the Ford Mustang, Fusion, and Taurus while trucks and utility vehicles were up by 58 per cent across the range with star performers such as the new Edge, Explorer and Expedition.
“The new Ford Edge, Mustang, Taurus and Fusion have been outstanding performers, starting the year off on the best possible footing,” Murad added. “Dynamic looks, class leading technologies, choice of powertrains, affordable prices, and great fuel economy across Ford’s available models are what customers want, and that's exactly what we offer them across our dealerships today thanks to our new lineup.”
Ford powers ahead in Q1 on the back of its worldwide success in 2010, after posting a strong 1.935 million full-year sales in the US, up by 19 percent over 2009, marking the largest increase of any full-line manufacturer. Market share increased for the second year in a row – the company’s first back-to-back increase since 1993, a success largely accredited to a wave of new fuel-efficient, high quality models. Ford posted the industry's highest growth rate in market share with a full percentage point, for the second consecutive year.
Consumer demand for Ford’s fuel-efficient vehicles continues to grow as March 2011 sales increased 19 percent versus a year ago. Year-to-date, Ford sales totaled 496,720, up 16 percent.
"Clearly, this further reinforces the success of our One Ford strategy as we continue to focus on offering great products that our customers want, and innovate technologies that set the benchmark across the industry," concluded Murad.
Ford Quality gets nods from industry experts
And the momentum continues as industry experts confirm Ford's leadership in quality. Just recently, the Kelley Blue Book Brand Watch study showed Ford had reclaimed the No. 1 spot as the most considered automotive brand overall for new car shoppers. Ford snatched the title in a big way, with a significant lead over second-place Toyota/Chevrolet and third-place Honda.
In addition to being the most-considered auto brand overall (regardless of segment) for Q4 2010, Ford has been the highest-considered brand within the truck segment for nine consecutive quarters. Currently, Ford is the most-considered brand in the non-luxury SUV/CUV segment, and continues to gain ground quarter-over-quarter in the non-luxury sedan/coupe/hatchback segment.
Separately, Lincoln received the highest score for long-term durability among all vehicle brands in the annual J.D. Power and Associates’ 2011 Vehicle Dependability Study (VDS), where Ford Motor Company vehicles also received awards in four segments:
- Lincoln MKZ, Entry Premium Car
- Ford Fusion, Midsize Car
- Ford Mustang, Midsize Sporty
- Lincoln Navigator, Large Premium Crossover/SUV
In total, Ford had nine vehicles ranking in the top three of their respective segments. They include Ford Edge, Ford Explorer Sport Trac, Ford Taurus, Ford F-150 and Ford Ranger.