Ford will not pull out of Europe despite poor sales, CEO Stephen Odell says

Article by Anita Panait, on June 26, 2012

Ford is not about to give up in Europe, where consumers are saving more than spending due to the current debt crisis, and will instead hope to increase its profits in the continent in the upcoming years, Ford of Europe chief executive Stephen Odell wrote in response to a commentary by Automotive News Europe's chief correspondent Luca Ciferri. 

In his commentary, Ciferri suggested that Ford and fellow US carmaker General Motors should consider pulling out from Europe. According to Odell, Ford is planning to profitably grow in Europe in the coming years, as a fundamental part of the company’s global One Ford strategy.

Odell shared the same view as Ciferri on Europe’s current business environment being severely challenging and requiring tough decisions. Ford of Europe’s CEO, however, said that the company knows how to successfully compete in Europe as evidenced by being the No. 2 best-selling vehicle brand in the continent and by being profitable in six of the last eight years.

He likewise noted that Ford has moved decisively to match production to real customer demand over the past decade, according to Autonews. Odell quipped that Ford continues to invest heavily in new vehicles and technologies for Europe and is planning to roll out over 10 new or freshened vehicles in 2012, and more in 2013.

Among the vehicles that Ford of Europe is planning to roll out this year are the Ford Focus powered by 1.0-liter EcoBoost and the Ford B-Max. Odell revealed that Ford of Europe is going to offer the new Ford Kuga and new Ford Mondeo early next year.

He also disclosed that Ford is renewing its commercial vehicle lineup over the next 18 months, with Ford Transit Custom at the frontline. Ford of Europe chief executive remarked that the company is leveraging low cost and growth opportunities with its Turkish joint venture Ford Otosan and its new manufacturing plant in Craiova, Romania. Odell also said that that Ford is expanding production and sales in Russia through its new Ford Sollers joint venture.

Topics: ford, europe, sales

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