FORD CONTINUES WITH ITS GROWTH PLANS FOR NIGERIA WITH THE INTRODUCTION OF NEW AWARD-WINNING MODELS INTO THE MARKET LAST WEEK EVEN AS THE AMERICAN AUTO GIANT CHALKS A 33 PERCENT SALES INCREASE IN THE SECOND QUARTER OF THE YEAR. OLAOLU OLUSINA REPORTS
As the interest in the Nigerian auto industry by global auto makers continues, Ford Motor Company has taken a giant leap with its ambitious growth plans for the country. Last week in Lagos, the company introduced new award-winning models into the Nigerian market at a media briefing which preceded an experiential drive programme of the models which included the all-new Fusion, Escape, Edge, Ranger, Focus, and more.
The American auto giant also announced a 33 percent sales increase in Nigeria, saying from the results of the company’s operations in the first half of the year, sales are up by 44 percent compared to previous year to date sales as it disclosed that 2,156 units were sold through the month of July compared to 1,617 units sold during the same time period of 2012.
Ford attributed the continued sales growth to a strong dealer network and other factors as an excited Senior Manager, Sub Saharan Africa, Ford, Eugene Prinsloo, said at the occasion: “We’re excited about the growth. We’re still seeing great results from the full line of vehicle choices available in our new product lineup and a continued focus on strengthening dealers’ parts and service departments. ”
Restating Ford’s commitment to Nigeria , the Ford spokesman said “ We expect to see continued growth in the market as we move forward with plans to launch new products in key market segments, increase customer satisfaction with increased service outlets and parts availability, strengthen our connections and communications with consumers, and increase our community involvement and overall presence in the market. “
According to Prinsloo, “Nigeria is a significant market in Ford’s Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) region and accounts for a solid percent of our regional sales. Sales in Nigeria grew more than 40 percent from 2010 to 2011; and 8 percent from 2011 to 2012 despite overall challenges in the Nigerian auto industry. So far, we have recorded continued growth in our sales performance with a 33 percent increase in sales. Sales are up by 44 percent through July compared to the same month in the previous year. Total sales through July were 2,156 units compared to 1,617 units sold during the same time period of 2012.
“The growth in sales was led by the high demand for the Ford Ranger, Explorer, Focus, Fusion and Edge. These vehicle sales account for 78 percent of overall sales. Our continued growth and stability in sales can be attributed to our strong dealers’ network. We are still seeing great results from the full line of vehicle choices available in our new product lineup and a continued focus on strengthening dealers’ parts and service departments. “
Prinsloo disclosed further: “In 2012, Ford launched its extended warranty programme tagged the ‘Extended Service Programme, ESP. The first program of its kind, the ESP is offering customers free after-sales service of up to 4-years or 120,000km, whichever comes first through both of Ford’s dealers. Currently, Ford operates 30 outlets – including showrooms and service centres throughout Nigeria through its dealers, Briscoe-Ford Motors and Coscharis Motors.
“Also in 2012, the Ford Motor Company’s Conservation and Environmental Grants Programme was introduced in Nigeria. The programme was created to empower individuals and non-profit groups donating their time and effort to preserve the environmental well-being of their communities. By providing necessary funding and visibility, we hope to encourage the multiplication of similar grassroots efforts that will serve as catalyst for change across the globe and here in Nigeria. In the coming weeks, we’ll be sharing exciting news about our 2013 programme which has been restructured to follow a very successful global Ford program that has greatly impacted communities around the world for more than 20 years.
“In the near future, Ford would be launching and establishing the EcoSport as a new, credible small urban SUV focusing on design, smart technologies and affordability. The EcoSport is a nameplate that exemplifies the DNA of Ford’s global vehicles and is a step forward in our One Ford strategy of producing best-in-class vehicles that take the lead in quality, technology, safety, fuel efficiency and design. Our vision is to establish EcoSport as the most desirable small SUV in its segment. A prototype of the new EcoSport is available at this event. Ford plans on launching the EcoSport in 2014. “
Present at the occasion were other Ford officials, including the Dealer Operations Manager, Sub-Saharan Africa (E &G) Ford, David Lawrence; General Manager, Cutler Ogilvy PR, Laura Oloyede; Regional Manager, FCSD, Sub-Saharan Africa (E &G) Ford, Rob Johnston; Marketing & Communications Manager, Sub-Saharan Africa (E &G) Ford, Farzana John and General Manager, Briscoe Ford Motors, Mr. Krishna Kulkarni; and the National Sales Manager, Coscharis Motors, Mr. Justin Ngini, as well as other officials of the two Ford dealerships in Nigeria.