Motorists had such huge appetite for Ford cars that during the month of March, Ford vehicles were the second bought vehicles in southern Africa, – mainly within the Southern African Customs Union countries including South Africa itself.
Topping the list of the Ford models sold during March is the Ford Ranger, which not only sold so well but also was among the most vehicles that South Africa produced for export markets in Europe, Middle East and the rest of Africa. The Everest model also sold well, considering the model was launched recently and that critics had reservations because it appeared more for the American markets.
The good sales are besides the criticism besieging Ford over the defect found in its Kuga models, a number of which have burnt, and the model being recalled in Namibia, Botswana, Swaziland and South Africa.
“Ford sold a total of 6 433 vehicles in March, giving it 14.5 percent market share. The Ranger ended on 3 234 units, securing its place among the top two in the light commercial vehicle segment, and in the overall sales in March. This was up almost 3 perecnt on February 2017 sales,” the company said in a statement.
The Ranger also notched up its highest export volume yet for the year, with 4 859 Rangers being exported to markets in Africa, the Middle East and Europe.
Its SUV sibling, the sophisticated seven-seater Everest, continues to gain traction and popularity in this rapidly expanding segment, with the 577 vehicles sold representing an all-time record for this model.
The EcoSport retained its unbroken dominance of the compact SUV segment with 759 sales reported, while the Fiesta secured its third consecutive month with sales in excess of 1 000 units, ending on a final tally of 1 041.
“The Ranger remains our star performer in South Africa, and it was encouraging to see sales increasing once again,” said Neale Hill, Director of Marketing, Sales and Service for Ford Motor Company Sub-Saharan Africa Region. “We are delighted with the growing demand for the expanded Everest range, and we expect this to continue in line with the growth of this very popular segment.”
According to the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (NAAMSA), March 2017 aggregate new vehicle sales at 48 534 units had increased by 1 020 units or 2.1 percent from the 47 514 vehicles sold in March last year.
NAAMSA track vehicle sales within the customs union member countries as well as vehicles exported by South African car manufacturing plant to the rest of the world, as part of car manufacturers globalisation strategy.
Overall, out of the total reported industry sales of 48 534 vehicles, an estimated 42 772 units or 88.1 percent represented dealer sales, 6.7 percent were sales to the vehicle rental Industry, 3.0 percent to government and 2.2 perecnt to industry corporate fleets.The March, 2017 new car market at 31 034 vehicles reflected a gain of 644 cars or an improvement of 2.1 percent compared to the 30 390 new cars sold in March last year.
Domestic sales of new light commercial vehicles, bakkies and mini buses at 14 882 vehicles reflected a marginal improvement of 169 vehicles or a gain of 1.1 percent compared to the 14 713 light commercial vehicles sold during the corresponding month last year.
“Overall it’s encouraging to see a slight positive shift in retail vehicle sales at the end of the first quarter of 2017 across all four sectors, particularly in light of reduced demand from the rental industry last month. However, it remains to be seen if this is sustainable due to the on-going economic challenges, and the further instability created by the turbulent political climate,” Hill added.