Ford In Pole Position As New Focus Goes On Sale

Market leader Ford has kept a firm hold on its British sales crown and remains the country's favourite car brand for the 28 th successive year, outselling its nearest rival by over 42,000 units. Ford Focus starts 2005 as Britain's best selling car for the past four and a half years, with 9,000 customer orders already banked for its all-new replacement which goes on sale this weekend.

Ford's iconic Transit has dominated commercial vehicle sales for 39 consecutive years. Other 2004 sales successes for Ford of Britain according to figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders released today include:

  • Three Ford cars in the top 10 - Focus (1 st), Fiesta (3 rd) and Mondeo (9 th).
  • Fiesta was the retail star heading the private buyer's shopping list.
  • Focus was the number one choice of company car drivers.
  • Volumes of diesel cars sold by Ford have risen a huge 16.7 per cent in the last 12 months. In the case of Focus, diesel sales have leapt a massive 43.7 per cent.
  • In its city car segment Ka is outselling its nearest rival by more than three to one.
  • The number of new Ford commercial vehicles on the road is up overall. For light CVs – Fiesta Van and short wheelbase Transit Connect – the increase is almost 45 per cent to 17,000 vehicles.
  • Nearly 40 per cent more Ford Ranger pick-ups were bought last year than in 2003.

"The UK's new car and commercial vehicle markets remain strong and so do the Ford products competing in them," said Ford of Britain managing director Paul Thomas. "Ford Focus has been top of the sales charts for 54 months and its success is set to continue with the new improved Focus on sale this week.

"We have done well to maintain car volumes and surge ahead with commercial vehicle sales in tough markets. They are likely to remain stable through 2005 so prospects are just as fierce, but I expect Ford's sales success to continue.

"Transit has truly become the byword for a commercial vehicle you can trust and depend on. For Transit to have led its segment for 39 years in the year of celebrating its 40 th birthday is remarkable."

Diesel volumes rose significantly for the blue oval last year - up to 27.3 per cent of all Ford cars sold from 22.7 per cent the previous year. The popularity of Ford's TDCi commonrail badge helped Mondeo lead the medium car segment, with volumes at 60,441 beating last year.

Commercial vehicle numbers are similarly up - by a healthy 13 per cent. The strong performance by Ford's light vans mean the blue oval accounts for one in five vehicles sold in this segment.

The total numbers of new Ford car and commercial vehicles sold last year were 367,158 and 95,349 respectively.

Published 16 January 2005 Melanie Carter

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