Ford expects to retain its crown as the best-selling brand in the United States in 2013, after widening its lead over rival Toyota brand with sales of over 2.4 million units. John Felice, Ford vice president in charge of US marketing, sales and service, remarked that the brand is now not overly reliant on one segment, noting that it is posting double-digit sales gains in cars, trucks and utilities.
“The Ford brand has had more retail share growth than any other brand in the country, with our most significant gains coming from import-dominated coastal markets,” Felice said. He added that with 16 product launches planned for 2014, Ford is looking to keep its sales momentum going. In the first 11 months of 2013, Ford is already beating Toyota by 396,041 vehicles, more than the lead in full year 2012, pegged at 329,677 vehicles.
Ford brand retail sales surged 15 percent in the first 11 months of 2013, compared to the brand’s overall gain of 12 percent. Much of the retail sales gains are from western (23 percent) and southeastern (18 percent) regions, which are traditionally import-dominated. Ford expects its brand retail sales to top 1.7 million vehicles in 2013, its best figure in six years.
The brand also expects its passenger car retail sales to exceed 600,000 vehicles in 2013. Ford Fiesta was able to set a new sales record in 2013, pegged at over 70,000. The brand also expects to sell over 290,000 Ford Fusions in 2013.
Ford is the best-selling utility brand for the third year in a row, with gains of 10.3 percent, to 621,652 units. Leading the pack is the Ford Escape, which 2013 sales is expect to top 300,000 units. The brand expects its Ford Explorer to gain 15 percent, on its way to become the best-selling midsize utility vehicle in the US for 2013.
Peter Bejin, manager of Global Craftsmanship at Ford, remarked that customers would find that their love for the new Ford Escape gets stronger as they get closer to it.
The interior of the new Ford Escape is marked by a soft-touch instrument panel, soft upper roll on doors, deep padding on console armrests as well as wrapped, padded and stitched door armrests. Moreover, the glove box and sun visor pivots now don’t have exposed fasteners. Ford is also offering available leather-trimmed sport seats with piping on bolster area as well as contrast stitching.
Bejin quipped that Ford’s designers were able to create a vehicle that is not just well-proportioned but is also stunning even viewed from afar. He remarked that they ensured that the craftsmanship level of the new Escape would elicit the same emotion whether they are inside or outside the vehicle.
New Ford Escape is now available with more exterior color finishes, especially in North America. One of these colors is Ginger Ale, an earthy metallic tone that is bit greener than ginger ale. Other new exterior colors available for the Escape includes Deep Impact Blue, Frosted Glass Metallic, Ingot Silver Metallic, Kodiak Brown, Ruby Red, Sterling Gray Metallic, Oxford White, Tuxedo Black and White Platinum Tricoat,
On the other hand, the muscular exterior of the new Ford Escape is greatly complemented by a well-appointed interior, as infused with higher levels of technology and craftsmanship. Ruth Pauli, chief designer for Color and Materials, called the interior design of the new Escape as modern and sophisticated. He added that the cabin of the vehicle captures both its expressive design and improved functionality.