The second largest US automaker just announced no less than 17 new models for the Sub-Saharan Africa region, as the company wants to tap the potential of one of the last major emerging markets.
China, the world’s largest single market, the US, the European and Asia-Pacific regions have all been exploited to the full by the carmakers and what was promised as the next “Holy Grail” – the emerging markets – largely under delivered. Countries like Russia, India or those in the South American region were widely regarded as the next pillar of growth – but the strategies show early signs of deep weakness.
“Middle East and Africa is the final frontier for global automotive growth,” Ford’s regional chief Jim Benintende said. “We’re putting the infrastructure and people in place to participate.”
The US giant’s recent strategy is to put in place global architectures that can be used with minimum effort and cost across vastly different regions. The 17 new cars announced are part of a broader Middle East and Africa product offering that would see 25 new models released by 2016.
Ford’s internal forecasts predict the Middle East and Africa region sales could rise by 40% until 2020, which is why many western carmakers, but also Chinese ones, are rushing to increase their presence on the continent.