FORD Australia’s predicted product-led gross sales bounce-back in 2019 is but to transpire, with year-to-date quantity down Eight.2 per cent and the one fashions not within the crimson being Customized and Heavy variations of the Transit van, and 4×4 variants of the Ranger ute.
On the upside, Ford has diminished reliance on the Ranger’s runaway success, which accounted for 61 per cent of the model’s gross sales final 12 months. To this point this 12 months, simply over half of Ford’s 48,604 gross sales have been Rangers.
Ranger 4×4 gross sales are virtually flatlining, up simply zero.2 per cent YTD, whereas 4×2 variations are down 21.9 per cent. In 2018 the Ranger 4×4 and 4×2 have been respectively down zero.1 per cent and 9.2 per cent.
In December 2018, Ford Australia and New Zealand president and CEO Kay Hart mentioned arrival of the Endura massive SUV and fourth era Focus small hatch and wagon late within the 12 months had impacted gross sales however turnaround was anticipated.
“We’ve launched mainly over 90 per cent of the showroom between the months of August to December,” mentioned Ms Hart on the time.
“As we are available with new fashions, we’d clearly count on quantity to return from these fashions, so we’re trying ahead to progress subsequent 12 months.”
Regardless of assembly crucial acclaim, year-to-date gross sales of the brand new Focus are 19.5 per cent behind these of the runout mannequin in the identical time interval of 2019. That mentioned, the mannequin was up 54.5 per cent for the month of September with 187 recorded gross sales.
The Endura has additionally failed to realize traction with simply 1514 discovering properties, lower than the Territory used to repeatedly promote in a single month.
Talking with GoAuto on the Mustang R-Spec reveal in Sydney this week, Ms Hart attributed the Focus’s robust September to arrival of the crossover-style Lively variant that was initially anticipated to be second most-popular variant after the ST-Line.
“There isn’t any doubt that this market is extraordinarily robust in the meanwhile,” she mentioned. “As for Focus, we’ve simply bought quantity of the Lively variant coming in as of August this 12 months.”
However the Focus, which performs in Australia’s second-biggest phase by way of quantity, was comprehensively outsold by the Mustang in September by an element of greater than two to at least one. The Escape medium SUV that represents Ford within the nations hottest phase, offered 255 fewer items than the Focus.
The truth is, the Mustang outsells all of Ford’s passenger automobiles and SUVs bar the Ranger-based Everest, which on 3967 items year-to-date just isn’t that far forward of the Mustang on 3370.
Ms Hart claimed that Ford “operates in a really small portion of these segments by way of the place our line-up sits”.
“We’re doing the quantity commensurate for the place we sit in these segments; we don’t sit within the worth entry of these segments. We’d like to be promoting extra automobiles however are pleased with our efficiency based mostly on the variants now we have accessible.”
Nonetheless, Focus gross sales pale as compared with the Volkswagen Golf that, other than high-performance R variants, operates in an analogous worth vary. Evaluating the Escape with a Kia Sportage tells an analogous story.
The Focus begins from $23,490 plus on-road prices for the under-the-radar Ambiente base mannequin hatch GoAuto uncovered in June, rising to $44,690 for the ST hatch, whereas the Golf opens at $24,990 for the 110TSI Trendline and the GTI prices $46,190. 12 months-to-date VW offered virtually 4 instances as many Golfs in Australia as Ford did the Focus.
Just like the Escape, Kia’s Sportage is on the small finish of the mid-size SUV phase and can be supplied with eight variants throughout a mixture of petrol, diesel and all-wheel-drive choices.
The Escape begins from $30,490 for the automated front-drive Ambiente petrol (a handbook is obtainable on this variant for $1500 much less) and tops out at $48,340 for the Titanium diesel with all-wheel drive. Sportage costs vary from $30,190 to $47,690 and Kia sells virtually 4 Sportages for each Escape, with 10,526 items reported year-to-date.
Notionally changing the Territory, the Endura massive SUV is a little bit of a segment-straddler, providing solely 5 seats in a class dominated by seven-seaters.
Regardless of its seating shortfall, the Endura is priced to match seven-seat phase rivals such because the Mazda CX-Eight and ranges from $44,990 to $67,990.
5-seat massive SUV contenders embody the Jeep Grand Cherokee that begins greater at $47,500 and heads properly north of $80,000 with V8-powered and area of interest variants. But Jeep offered 2,338 examples year-to-date in opposition to the Endura’s 1514.
Ms Hart denied it was a mistake to kill off the Territory badge and identify its successor Endura – the Edge nameplate used globally was already trademarked in Australia by Toyota – however admitted the mannequin suffered a ignorance out there.
“I don’t assume it was a mistake (to name it Endura as a substitute of Territory). It’s simply all the time more durable to get some momentum behind a brand new nameplate with no historical past and no connotation,” she mentioned.
“It’s a brand-new nameplate, it’s a nameplate that’s solely in Australia and there’s little doubt that now we have a job to do by way of creating consciousness of that product. Our clients that drive it give us phenomenal suggestions so it’s an incredible product by way of the place it sits, we simply have to create the attention of that product line.”
All Ford’s actually excellent news comes from its industrial autos, the seemingly evergreen Ranger shored up by the Transit Heavy, up 15.Eight per cent on 756 items, and the Customized, up 2.7 per cent with 1529 offered.
“For the industrial car area, with Transit and Ranger now we have two very robust performers,” mentioned Ms Hart. “After which Mustang performing very properly within the efficiency automotive market.”
Requested whether or not she thought having a sportscar outsell ostensibly extra mainstream fashions was an issue – even Porsche depends on the Macan and Cayenne SUVs to allow the continued existence of its sportscars – Ms Hart mentioned the mannequin continued to exceed expectations.
“I feel Mustang for us has change into such a stable piece of our line-up,” she mentioned.
“Once we initially launched, we by no means actually knew – new mannequin coming in, a sportscar, what’s the actual demand – so we’re extraordinarily pleased with the demand by way of gross sales and we expect very robust ranges of demand for this car will stay.”