Ford of Europe: A Paper Tiger?

Cammy Corrigan
by Cammy Corrigan
ford of europe a paper tiger

While Ford is slowly but surely gaining traction in North America and China, Europe is storming ahead. Over at there’s report on Ford of Europe’s latest sales, which jumped 19.8% in November. This marks Ford’s sixth consecutive volume increase, resulting in a 9.1% year to date market share. “November was another month with outstanding volume gains for Ford of Europe”, said Roelant de Waard, Ford of Europe’s Vice-President for Sales. “Having the right products at the right time is paying off, and this is why we’re continuing to strengthen our position as the clear No.2 choice for customers in the European auto industry.” A key point included how 63% of their sales went to retail customers, which was an increase of 13%. Increase in sales? Increase in retail customers? Increase in market share? It all sounds great! Until you dig a little deeper.

When I read the article, something didn’t sit right. Why did they keep mentioning “volume” and market share? So I did a little digging around and found a website ( which specialises in third party broker car deals. Brand new cars at discounted prices. Under the Ford section I found a Ford Fiesta 1.4 Titanium 5 door Auto with 18% off the Recommend Retail Price (RRP). A Ford Galaxy 2.0 TDCi Ghia 5 door Auto with 22.54% off the RRP. A Ford Focus 1.6 Style 5 door Manual with 27.56% of the RRP. A Ford Mondeo 2.0 TDCi Titanium X Sport 5 door Auto with 29.52% off the RRP. In comparison, a Toyota Yaris 1.3 VVT-i TR Auto has 7.75% off its RRP, a Toyota Auris 1.3 Dual VVT-i T2 5 door manual has 8.78% off its RRP and a Toyota Avensis 2.2 D-CAT T-Spirit Auto only has 10.31% off its RRP. In an industry where everyone is aiming for a 10% profit margin, and a scrappage incentive should be keeping other discounts down. This is bad news for Ford. Which now makes me wonder if this increase in “volume sales” is actually a good thing? Is the jump in sales more to do with the fact that there were some fantastic bargains to be had at Ford dealerships? The real test of strength in Europe for Ford will be when it comes to announcing financial results.

Join the conversation
3 of 11 comments
  • Jdmcomp Jdmcomp on Dec 14, 2009

    Yep the Ka is coming to America, but not as a Ka, but rather in its native format, the Fiat 500, yes that is what it is underneath, but with a Ford engine.

  • Charly Charly on Dec 14, 2009

    In some European markets a very high percentage of cars are sold as employment perk so your statement that increasing retail sales is good maybe incorrect for those markets. Selling retail in those countries just means selling cheap cars.

  • Tassos BTW I thought this silly thing was always called the "Wienermobile".
  • Tassos I have a first cousin with same first and last name as my own, 17 years my junior even tho he is the son of my father's older brother, who has a summer home in the same country I do, and has bought a local A3 5-door hatch kinds thing, quite old by now.Last year he told me the thing broke down and he had to do major major repairs, replace the whole engine and other stuff, and had to rent a car for two weeks in a touristy location, and amazingly he paid more for the rental ( Euro1,500, or $1,650-$1,700) than for all the repairs, which of course were not done at the dealer (I doubt there was a dealer there anyway)
  • Tassos VW's EV program losses have already been horrific, and with (guess, Caveman!) the Berlin-Brandenburg Gigafactory growing by leaps and bounds, the future was already quite grim for VW and the VW Group.THis shutdown will not be so temporary.The German Government may have to reach in its deep pockets, no matter how much it hates to spend $, and bail it out."too big to fail"?
  • Billccm I had a 1980 TC3 Horizon and that car was as reliable as the sun. Underappreciated for sure.
  • Inside Looking Out I did not notice, did they mention climate change? How they are going to fight climate change, racism and gender discrimination. I mean collective Big 3.