In 2009, Canadian car sales dropped by 11% but for this year, Ford Motor Co. expects that the entire car industry would increase 4% this year as the economy slowly improves. In an interview at the Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto, David Mondragon, chief executive of Ford's Canadian unit, said that the company will still face "a challenging time."
He said that this year will be a "very turbulent" one and that the company doesn't expect a lot of growth this year when it comes to industry strength. Ford's Canadian sales rose by 6% and this widened its market share by more than 2 percentage points to 15.8%.
Ford, which began the year with more than 8 points behind General Motors Co., ended trailing by only 1.5 points. Ford had taken back the No. 2 spot in Canada from Toyota Motor Corp.
In 2009, about 1.46 million cars and light trucks were sold in Canada. The US market, on the other hand, fell 21% to 10.4 million. Mondragon explained that Ford was liquid enough to fund the launching of eight new vehicles in Canada this year.
Mondragon said that when Ford made money last year, it was the first time in a span of several years. He stated that the company now has a "very strong foundation" financially to move the business forward and that in fact, Ford is investing aggressively in new products.
Ford has been closing plants and cutting workers but currently, Mondragon says that it is just the right size. He said that the company has the capacity to make money in a much reduced industry compared to historical standards.
As a result, Ford believes that it has a "good footprint" to work from. As the industry increases, Ford sees the opportunity to grow in sales, shares, and profits as well.