An unprecedented sales result for the Aussie car market saw champagne flowing widely in June − unless you're a Ford dealer…
FORD Australia’s market share in June 2015 fell to 6.0%, compared to 13.6 a decade ago, despite the local car market growing from 955,229 sales in 2005 to 1,113,224 in 2014. Even this time last year, Ford’s slice of the market was a larger 7.5% before it went on to record its worst sales result since 1966.
Ford’s dismal sales continued last month despite a buoyant market that’s grown 3.3% so far this year, with more cars sold in June than ever. Still, Ford seems unable to convert some excellent products into sales results.
The dour 2014 figure of 79,303 looks almost unobtainable after the first six months of 2015. Ford has sold 34,810 cars so far this year, and a simple doubling of that number sees a figure of 69,620 – almost 10,000 shy of last year’s poor result.
“We didn’t plan to set records over months, as Graeme [Whickman, Ford Australia president and CEO picture below] has said, we’re focusing on the long-term,” a Ford spokesperson told Wheels. “This is a complete transition … we’ve got a plan. We’re sticking to that plan … there’s a lot going on behind the scenes to build the company’s future.”That plan sees Ford ‘transition’ from a local car maker to a full importer, with an emphasis on the new models it will introduce by 2020 following the closure of its local manufacturing in 2016. Yet its sales continue to stall in the meantime, with its June result meaning that the average Ford dealer – of which there are around 200 nationally – shifts around 36 cars a month.Making matters worse for local sales is the success of the locally-made models. While the Ranger was its best seller in June, the next most popular model was the Aussie-built Territory, in 36th place overall with 844 sales. Falcon sedan and ute sales combined for a 762 total, making it the third-best Ford nameplate, with a total of 1608 Australian-made Fords sold in June. With a total June result of 7251, that means almost a quarter of Ford’s sales are locally-made.While the excellent new Ford Mondeo is yet to make an impression on the sales charts, with only 202 sold in June, the Thai-built Ford Everest SUV will arrive in October followed by the highly-anticipated Ford Mustang in December. A minor Falcon update is anticipated in response to the Holden Commodore VF getting upgrades by the end of the year too.
These models should improve Ford’s fortunes, with more than 2000 customers having already paid deposits on a new Mustang, according to the company. Yet the new metal may not be enough to avoid another embarrassing sales year.
Ford’s best result in its more than 90-year history in Australia was in 1985, when it sold 170,811 vehicles and led the market with a commanding 29.25% market share thanks in part to import tariffs.Sign up here to receive the latest round-up of Wheels news, reviews and video highlights straight to your inbox each week.