Gauteng Business News

Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  06 Nov 2008

Motoring: Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa’s response


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New vehicle sales fell to their all-time low for the year with only 41 336 new vehicles sold during October, according to the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of SA (NAAMSA). This represents a market decline of 7.3% over September 2008 sales, and a mammoth 31% downturn in sales over the same period last year.

“Motor companies may have been out in force at the Johannesburg International Motor Show last week, but brands continue to bear immense strain,” says Jacques Brent, Vice President Sales and Marketing, Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa. “The current volatility of the market, from both a motor industry and general economy point of view, is creating enormous challenges for managing stock and anticipating demand. The global economic crisis that rose to new heights during October surely impacted sentiment in the SA new car market for consumers to take a wait-and-see approach to their new vehicle purchase decision.”

Passenger car sales accounted for 23 077 units during October, down 33.4% on October 2007. Not even the well-performing Light Commercial Vehicle market could weather the storm with sales down 23.4% over the same period last year with 12 384 registrations last month. The Medium, Heavy, Extra Heavy and Bus segments of the market accounted for the remaining 2 682 sales, representing an average decline of 9.5% over September 2008.

Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa sales reflected the challenging market with overall company sales down 14% on last month. The company’s 4 073 sales were accounted for by 2 053 passenger cars (down 12.8% from September 2008) and 2 020 light commercials (down 15.6% on September 2008).

The Ford Ranger was once again the best performing model with 1 020 units registered over the course of the month. Ford’s top selling passenger model, the Ford Focus, realised improved sales of 481 units over the 408 sold in September. The Mazda2 remained the best performing Mazda model with 373 sales during October. Other notable performers included the Volvo S40, with an increase of 35.8% thanks to its 109 sales.

“We have survived what we predicted would be a challenging sales month due to cumulative global economic conditions and crisis,” says Brent. “We are cautiously optimistic about the outlook for November, but this is based on the release of the much anticipated Ford Fiesta.”

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