Ford of Europe to boost lineup in anticipation of recovery in the region

Article by Anita Panait, on September 18, 2013

Ford of Europe is implementing the same strategy that parent Ford Motor Co. used to recover from the 2008-2009 recession in the United States. Barb Samardzich, Ford of Europe's head of product development, said the company will expand its product lineup while waiting for the European vehicle market to make a turnaround.

She said at the Frankfurt motor show that Ford is intends to be prepared to gain share in a recovered Europe. Samardzich, who will become Chief Operating Officer of Ford of Europe effective Nov. 1, 2013, remarked that it was the “same exact strategy” as in North America. Back then, Ford made sure that their product portfolio was the “best ever when the economy turned around."

Ford of Europe President Stephen Odell, remarked during the Frankfurt motor show that the carmaker has upped its plans for portfolio expansion. Ford announced in 2012 that it would bring in 15 vehicles to Europe in five years, but now revised the number to 25.

According to Odell, the 25 vehicles will either be lineup additions or new generations of vehicles, noting that they will not be variants. Samardzich remarked that the process is now simpler due to the One Ford’s target to have uniform platforms and powertrains globally.

One example of this is Ford’s move to bring in the India-built EcoSport into its European lineup in 18 months. The compact crossover will be assembled in Russia and will have its European rollout set late this year. Odell, meanwhile, reiterated Ford's bid to post a profit in Europe for 2015, noting that cutting 18 percent of production capacity, along with the addition of new product, will help the carmaker achieve the goal.

Topics: ford, lineup

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