Ford Australia has more or less covered sales lost from ending local Falcon and Territory production in October last year, by dramatically increasing sales of its imported Ranger and Mustang hero models.
To the end of July, Ford’s network had sold 188 remaining Falcons (down 2631 over the same period last year), 71 Falcon Utes (down 1579) and 1641 Territory models (down 2610). This totals 6820 sales last year not accounted for this year.
However, growth from the Ranger ute (24,714, up 3641 to be Australia’s number two vehicle after the Toyota HiLux) and remarkably popular Mustang (5967, up 2849) totals 6490, essentially offsets this loss.
Few things could be more symbolic of Ford Australia’s shifted focus - pardon the pun - to imports, in this case from Thailand and the US respectively. Losing a trio of hero models and yet covering the gap with its two new flagships.
Ford Australia as a whole is fifth in-market behind a struggling Holden and ahead of Mitsubishi, with 46,975 units, down 0.6 per cent. Holden by comparison is down about 12 per cent as it gears up to end its local production arm late this year.
A summation of other Ford models YTD looks like this: EcoSport (880, down 23 per cent), Escape (2864, about offsetting the axed Kuga), Everest (2576, up 18 per cent), Fiesta (1058, down from 1707), Focus (3690, up 1 per cent), Mondeo (1863, up 8 per cent) and Transit (1228, about even).
Ford is about out of new Falcon stock now, with around 25 understood to remain in dealer stock according to its database. There are more Territory models left after a late-production flurry, to cover the gap until the new Endura (Edge) arrives in early 2018.
There is still some dangers for Ford despite its relative market strength. It’s very reliant on the Ranger for volume (about 53 per cent of its total), meaning any drop there would be keenly felt. Mustang, being a sports car, is also likely to wane as it ages. Almost all performance cars do.
That’s why the company is pushing the Escape so hard — its sales are still paltry compared to the Mazda CX-5, Hyundai Tucson and co, despite the continued boom in compact SUV sales.
Ditto the Focus, which sells in numbers that are a small fraction of those clocked by the Toyota Corolla, Mazda 3, Hyundai i30 and Kia Cerato.