Ford, the second largest US automaker continues to face pressure on its European unit business, as May’s sales across the region went down slightly.
Although across the region the average industry sales had a positive trend, increasing by 4.3% over the same period last year, the troubled European division had a negative result, dipping 1%. The European unit has been for some years in search of the fabled return to profitability, after years of losses. In its top 20 European countries, Ford only managed to sell 98,600 cars, down 0.9% from the May of 2013. If the Russian and Turkish markets are added, the slip is even higher – at almost 10%.
“Our newest vehicles – such as Fiesta, Kuga and Transit — have helped Ford make a strong start to 2014 and we have much more to come this year including the new Focus and new Mondeo,” said Roelant de Waard, vice president, Marketing, Sales and Service, Ford of Europe.
On the other hand, sales for the first five months of the year, which tally 496,400 vehicles, have outpaced the overall industry wide growth, which is around 7%, with an increase of 7.7%. Ford is also doing very well on the commercial vehicle segment, where its sales went up in May by 12.8% and for the January-May period by 8.1%. That means the company managed to grasp even more market share in the commercial vehicle segment, up to 10.2% now.
The automaker has been swinging its upturn strategy for some time, closing down unprofitable facilities and rethinking its operations on the continent, while also adding a slew of new models – including the first official introduction of the Mustang muscle car.