UK: Market second only to US for Ford

By just-auto.com editorial team | 8 April 2009

Despite the slump in new vehicle sales, and the boost in Germany following the implementation of a scrappage scheme, the UK still remains Ford's largest market outside the US for car and commercial vehicle sales, Ford of Britain managing director Nigel Sharp said on the sidelines of the Focus RS media launch.

The UK unit expects to sell around 300,000 cars and 60,000 CVs, both significantly down on last year due to the continued recession, but remains sales leader with increased market share for both cars and LCVs. In March the Fiesta was the UK's best selling car for the fifth consecutive month and the Focus is second year to date.  The transit tops the LCV market here.

Sharp said: "For Ford the drop in the value of the pound against the euro is actually more damaging for our business than the downturn in new car sales. All our cars are built outside the UK so they cost more to buy. We build engines in the UK but even the raw materials for those have to be imported, so the 30 to 35% loss of the pound against the euro is critical and that is why we have needed to increase our prices.

"I would rather sell one vehicle at a profit than a hundred at a loss - we have to remain profitable to secure our future."