Ford Sales Data & Trends for the European Automotive Market
Ford European market share has declined every year from 2009 to 2016, much like most other European mainstream brands like Fiat, Citroën and Opel, as the customer preferences have shifted towards premium or low-cost. As a result, the brand lost over a full percentage point between 2011 and 2016. Ford’s sales rose slightly in 2014 and 2015, but less than the overall market, causing another loss of market share and losing its position as Europe’s second best selling car brand to Renault.
Most of the decline is due to lack of new products, as the Mondeo, S-Max and Galaxy should have been replaced earlier if Ford hadn’t decided to close its manufacturing plant in Gent, Belgium. Preparing its Spanish factory for the production of these three models delayed their introduction a couple of years. When the new Mondeo finally arrived at European Ford dealers early 2015, the model was already a few years old, as Americans had been able to buy the similar Ford Fusion since 2012 and the new generation had been on sale in China from 2013. The new generations Ford Galaxy and S-Max also finally arrived in 2015 and the latter immediately reclaimed its segment lead.
The brand’s best selling model, Ford Fiesta, was facelifted in 2013 to give it an Aston Martin lookalike front end, but that hasn’t stopped the continuous decline in sales before recovering slightly in 2014 and 2015. The next generation will arrive in 2017. The third generation Ford Focus was introduced in 2011 but sales of the model have slowly declined since its first year.
Ford introduced the B-Max in 2012, which has taken the lead of the small MPV segment in Europe in 2013, but fell quickly back into fourth place in 2014, and the segment has been in continuous decline since. In 2014, the American brand introduced its small SUV Ecosport in Europe, to compete in the fastest growing segment of the continent. But it stood out from other Ford models because it was initially developed for countries like India and Argentina, so it is less refined than the models developed for Europe. Compare it more to the Dacia Duster than to the Nissan Juke or Renault Captur, although sales are still far behind any of those models, even after Ford updated it with an improved (modernized) dashboard and ditching the spare wheel on the back.
As part of the One Ford strategy, the new generation American muscle car Mustang was officially imported to Europe for the first time ever, and it was followed by the Edge large SUV in 2016. The aging Fiat-built Ka minicar was replaced by a low-budget subcompact hatchback from Brazil named Ka+, but considering the lack of success of the EcoSport, that may not be a wise decision.
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