Ford - Britain’s Outlook is Bright
In a recent interview about the growth and future of the car and LCV industry in the UK, Ford Britain’s Managing Director Mark Ovenden expressed great optimism, particularly for the retail market but also with regard to the small business and light commercial market.
In the retail area, the Fiesta and the Focus were the two top selling models, leading the country to its 14% market share in a highly competitive market place, while the retail and small business markets are also showing signs of strength, particularly with the interest in the Transit family of vehicles.
Ovenden indicated that because Transit offers so many different options that meet such a wide variety of needs (the Transit Connect, the Transit Custom , Tourneo Custom and the Transit), the vehicle has become an instant hit in the UK market, and is already ranked the seventh most popular of all light vehicles, “a phenomenal achievement for a panel van.” All models saw an increase in sales shares in March.
Regarding the company’s market presence in the low-volume fleet business, Ovenden says that the company has not been actively pursuing growth in that area of the business, and is focusing instead on achieving the proper balance. Ford’s share of that area of the market is at approximately 20 percent, which is down from last year’s figures, but Ovenden points out that they are also taking an extremely active role in buy-back of their vehicles. He also said that tremendous focus is being placed on the growth of the engine manufacturing business in Britain, with the company planning an expansion of their Bridgend plant, and slated to account for nearly 100,000 people employed in the country this year.