By Theodore Opara
Ford Motor Company has declared that its commitment to the Nigerian auto market is stronger than ever, just as it announced a 33 per cent sales increase in Nigeria, last week. Eugene Prinsloo, Ford Motors Senior Manager, Sub-Sahara Africa, (SSA), who led other senior Ford management team to Nigeria, said at a press parley at the Federal Palace Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos that Nigeria is a very significant market in Ford’s sub-Sahara Africa region and accounts for a solid chunk of its regional sales.
According to him, sales in Nigeria grew more than 40% from 2010 to 2011 and 8 percent from 2011 to 2012 despite overall challenges in the Nigerian auto industry.
Continuing he said, “So far, we have recorded continued growth in our performance with a 33 percent increase in sales. Sales are up by 44 percent through July compared with the same month in the previous year’s total sales through July were 2,156 units compare to1,617 units sold during the same period in 2012.”
Prinsloo further explained that remarkable growth in sales was led by the high demand for the Ford Ranger pickup, Explorer SUV, Edge Crossover, Focus and Fusion sedans.
“These vehicles sales account for 78 percent of overall sales” he said, adding that their continued growth and stability in sales can be attributed to their strong dealers’ network.
Promising that they will continue to strengthen their dealers’ parts and service department, Mr. Prinsloo said that they were still seeing great results from the full line of vehicle choices available in their new product lineup.
According to him, part of their efforts to give customers the best service in Nigeria was when in 2012, Ford launched its extended warranty programme tagged the ‘Extended Service Programme, ESP’. The first of its kind, the ESP is offering customers free after-sales service of up to four years or 120,000km, whichever comes first through both of Ford’s dealer. He disclosed that currently, Ford operates 30 outlets including showrooms and service centres throughout Nigeria through its dealers, Briscoe-Ford Motors and Coscharis Motors.”
According to him, “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.” “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, increase our community involvement and overall presence in the market.”