Ford South Africa posts increasing April sales as local market falls flat

MAY 6, 2016

The Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa (FMCSA) secured its third month as the second best-selling brand in South Africa during April 2016.

Despite the faltering rand and continuing upwards swing in the price of new vehicles, the Blue Oval still managed to move a total of 5 473 vehicle, 2 971 being passenger vehicles, during the month, with standouts being the Ranger (2 413), segment leading EcoSport (943) and iconic Mustang (114), which posted its highest figures since going on sale in South Africa.

Overall, its year-to-date share is up by 1.4 percentage points to 15.3% compared to the first four months of 2015, indicating continued resilience in the face of a tough economic climate with heavily constrained new vehicle sales.

The low sales of new vehicles in the domestic market for the month, which fell by 9.2% from 44 469 to 40 390, was however offset by a surge in exports, which climbed 39.2% to 32 856 units; 5 033 being the shipping of Rangers to Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

“New vehicle sales is under significant pressure due to a subdued economic climate, which is further impacted by the recent spate of price, inflation and interest rate hikes,” says Neale Hill, Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa Director of Marketing, Sales and Service, Neale Hill, said.

“The fact that Ford managed to increase its year-to-date sales compared to the same period last year, while remaining the second best-selling brand, shows that our product portfolio is more competitive than ever, particularly in terms of overall value for money which is a key purchasing consideration.”

Speaking at a breakfast media briefing in Port Elizabeth on Thursday, FMCSA Sub-Saharan Africa and Middle East President and CEO Jeff Nemeth, said the Dearborn-based company’s announcement in April that it would invest R2.5-billion to manufacture the Everest in South Africa from the third quarter of 2016, will have a significant impact on its production plant in Silverton, Pretoria and Struandale Engine Plant in Port Elizabeth.

“Not only will this result in the Everest being build alongside the Ranger, but the investment will also create 1 200 new jobs at both plants, allowing us to expand the current Everest line-up from two to eight models,” Nemeth said.

“This investment is a real testament to Ford’s confidence in South Africa. Convincing the board of FMC took about two years and given everything that is going on in the emerging markets, it really speaks of the trust Ford have in our teams down here in Pretoria and Port Elizabeth”.

Nemeth stated that sales and exports of the first locally build Everest are expected to arrive in the final part of the year.