What Car?'s Car of the Year, the new Ford Fiesta, was sitting at the Ford booth at the Chicago Auto Show sporting a fresh look. All tricked out to promote the Fiesta Movement, the Fiesta was looking pretty good - and very green. Lime green, that is. The Fiesta Movement is Ford's plan to give 100 people a chance to drive one of these small cars - for free, if you're willing to participate in the "secret assignments" - for six months. While we've seen the Fiesta, in various guises, for what seems like ages at auto shows, we still need to wait a while until the car actually goes on sale in North America in early 2010. Right now, the Fiesta is selling quite well in Europe (see press release after the jump).
Live Photos Copyright ©2009 Sebastian Blanco / Weblogs, Inc.
NEW FIESTA POWERS FORD OF EUROPE TO HIGHEST JANUARY MARKET SHARE SINCE 2004
- Ford of Europe January market share increased 0.5 percentage points to 9.3 percent -- the highest January share since 2004
- Ford one of only three manufacturers to see market share gains in Euro 19 markets
- New Fiesta is best-selling Ford car in January in the main 19 European markets
COLOGNE, Germany, Feb. 11, 2009 – Led by strong sales of the new Fiesta, Ford of Europe reported a January market share of 9.3 percent in Europe's main 19 markets, its highest January share since 2004.
Ford of Europe sold 98,300 vehicles in its main 19 markets in the first month of 2009, including 28,300 new Fiestas, making it the best-selling Ford car in January. Since the Fiesta's European launch in August 2008, sales of the popular small car have totaled 89,000 units. The new Fiesta, the first in a series of global, fuel-efficient small cars from Ford, is also being rolled out in China and other Asia Pacific markets. It will go on sale in North America in early 2010.
Ford's January sales across its main 19 European markets were down 23.1 percent from the same month a year ago, less than the overall industry decline of 27.2 percent. Ford's share of 9.3 percent was an increase of 0.5 percentage points over January 2008.
"We're delighted that our new products are wanted by the motoring public, and that this desirability is being reflected in the share growth that we are seeing," said Ingvar Sviggum, vice president marketing, sales and service, Ford of Europe.
"Unfortunately, this share improvement is taking place in the context of a deeply declining market across Europe, so we are in effect taking a larger slice of a much smaller cake. This is why we're taking actions to reduce our costs in response to lower revenue - so that we can protect the flow of exciting new products which is finding such favor, and thus ensure that we come out stronger when we finally get through this deep recession," Sviggum said.
Market share up in 17 markets
Ford of Europe had January market share gains in 17 of its 19 main European markets, with declines coming in Spain and Greece. Ford was market leader in the U.K., Hungary and Ireland, and among the top three in 14 out of the main 19 European markets.
In addition to the Fiesta, top-selling Ford models in the 19 main European markets were the Focus, with 21,400 units, and Transit, which sold 8,200 units. In France, the Fiesta and C-MAX were the best-selling imported vehicles in their segments. In Spain, the Fusion, Focus, Mondeo and Galaxy led their segments.
Across all its 51 European markets, Ford sold 112,000 vehicles in January 2009, down 24.6 percent when compared to the same month last year.
Among other highlights:
Ford of Britain again confirmed its market leadership with sales of 24,300 vehicles, boosting Ford's market share by 1.4 percentage points to 19.1 percent in January.
Ford Ireland market share soared by 4.2 percentage points to 17.9 percent in the first month of 2009, giving it the highest market share increase within the Ford of Europe sales organization.
In Germany, with the help of a government modernization incentive program, Ford sales rose by 14.2 percent to 15,500 units, an increase of 1,900 versus January 2008 and lifting its market share by 2.1 percentage points to 7.7 percent.
The market share for Ford France rose by 0.5 percentage points to 5.9 percent, the highest retail share for Ford in France since January 2000.
Although the Spanish market continued to be one of the most difficult in Europe, with sales falling 48.8 percent to 6,700 units, Ford was passenger car and medium commercial market leader, with a market share of 9.8 percent.
Ford Italy market share rose by 0.8 percentage points to 9.3 percent and the Fiesta was again segment leader in January and the third best-selling vehicle in Italy overall.
In Russia, Ford's January market share rose over 2 percentage points to 7.4 percent.