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Ford New Zealand year-on-year growth tops 25 per cent

Ford New Zealand year-on-year growth tops 25 per cent

• Ford growth in New Zealand is more than 20 percentage points ahead other brands in the top three
• Ford Focus charges to #3 in segment; Mustang leads sports segment
• NZ’s #1 new vehicle, the Ford Ranger, with recent upgrades including SYNC3 and new Euro V powertrain, pulls further away from pack with 770+ sales in November

AUCKLAND, 7 December 2016 – If you’re seeing more Fords on the road this summer, it’s no coincidence.

Year to date, Ford has seen more than 25 per cent growth in New Zealand compared to the same time period in 2015. That is more than double any competitor in the top five and at least 20 percentage points ahead of the other brands in the top three.

Managing Director Simon Rutherford says that while the Ranger certainly gets a lot of the attention, he’s particularly excited to see more Kiwis choosing Ford passenger vehicles.

“New Zealanders know a good thing when they see it or in the case of the Ranger, when they drive it too,” said Rutherford. “As the Ranger charges ahead, we’ve put additional focus on the rest of the Ford range, including Focus and Mondeo, and we’re very glad to see more and more Kiwis getting into those smart vehicles.”

“Behind our success this year is a tremendous dealer network. Together with the Ford New Zealand team, we’ve been working to a plan from the start of the year and it’s coming through with fantastic results,” Rutherford added.

Ford Focused on Focus

The Ford Focus, launched in late 2015 with a new interior and exterior design as well as new powertrain and transmission, has moved up to the top three in its segment and is already more than 20 per cent ahead of full year 2015 sales.

Ford is optimistic the popularity of the Ford Focus will continue into 2017 and move the Focus even further up the rankings.

The Focus nameplate got an additional injection of excitement when Ford welcomed the award-winning Focus RS to New Zealand this year. Launched in the first half of 2016, the Focus RS struck a chord with enthusiasts around the country and sold out almost immediately and again when Ford secured additional supply. Ford dealers are now taking RS orders for 2017 and they are again selling out quickly.

Ford Mustang Unleashed on New Zealand

If you were to ask 1000 people what their dream car was when they were growing up, there would likely be only a handful of answers. A vehicle that is far greater than the sum of its parts, the Ford Mustang, winner of Fairfax Media’s Performance Car of the Year 2016, would certainly be one the answers. For many New Zealanders this year, their dream Mustang became a reality as Ford has delivered more than 900 new Mustangs thus far in 2016.

The Ford Mustang has completely reshaped the sports car segment in New Zealand, accounting for the majority of the more than 80 per cent growth in the segment.

The Ford Mustang sold out for 2016 with orders still coming in and delivery times now backed out to April 2017.

The Ford Mondeo: Design in motion

Ford’s new technological and design flagship, the Ford Mondeo, continues to impress Kiwis. Its presence on the road turns heads and it’s a segment favourite. The Ford Mondeo brought to New Zealand several Ford safety firsts this year including inflatable rear seat belts and an advanced pedestrian detection system that can automatically detect and avoid a potential pedestrian vehicle collision.

The Ford Mondeo has also seen growth of more than 20 per cent year on year.

The Ford Ranger: Continuous Improvement

The Ford Ranger continues to be the Kiwi favourite across the country, chalking up more than 770 sales in November and pulling further away from the competition. The Ford Ranger is now more than 2000 ahead of any other new vehicle; in the ute segment or otherwise.

“Ranger has been a phenomenal success in New Zealand,” said Cameron Thomas, Ford New Zealand, Marketing Manager. “At the same time, competition in the ute segment remains fierce and is only getting more so with many new and improved entrants. We certainly are not going to rest on our laurels.”

Ford engineers originally designed the new Ranger to be better than current and future competitors. And since then Ford engineers haven’t stopped developing and improving the Ranger. Thomas says that original design ethos combined with continuous improvement is what keeps the Ranger ahead of the competition.

“Ford is well aware of the competition and we’re not about to stop and let them catch up,” he adds. “Just in the last few months for example, the Ranger has gained a number of new features including the very smart SYNC3 hands-free communications and entertainment system and the cleaner and more efficient Euro V powertrain. Essentially, just when the competition thinks it’s in range, our designers and engineers shift the goal posts out further.”

In the end, Thomas cites the Ranger’s overall value proposition as key to Ranger’s success.

“New Zealanders are pragmatic and vote with their wallets when it comes to best overall value,” said Thomas. “When it comes to capability, safety, performance and smart design, the Ranger will continue to offer Kiwis that best overall value in a new vehicle.”

And Ford isn’t even done yet…

The new Ford Escape will join Ford’s expanding SUV line-up this month. The new Escape will offer one of the most technologically-advanced SUVs in New Zealand as well as five-star safety and improved fuel efficiency.

Ford is the second largest SUV brand in the world and every SUV is backed by Ford’s global expertise and robust 50 year-plus heritage in the segment.

“The new Escape will be the Swiss Army knife of vehicles for New Zealand,” said Cameron Thomas. “It not only looks great but will be so many things to so many people. The Escape will offer segment leading technology, performance and safety – all at terrific value. We are confident the new Escape has what it takes to be among the top three favourite SUVs for Kiwis. I’d even pick the number one spot for the new Escape – it’s that good.”

As preference for SUVs continues grow in New Zealand, so too does the demand for greater choice. Ford has responded to customer demand for a broader line-up with the addition of a front-wheel drive mid-range Escape Trend and sharpened pricing across the range.

Key changes for Ford Escape over the Ford Kuga include:
• Refreshed design inside and out for a distinctive look
• Improved specification and features across the range, building on the fun-to-drive ethos and improved value for money
• Improved fuel economy for 2.0-litre models thanks to automatic start/stop as standard, reducing running costs
• New FWD 1.5L EcoBoost Escape Trend provides customers a popular segment option
• New entry RRP$37,9901 gives customers even better value

Looking ahead: Ford Transit gets EcoBlue and an automatic

Early in 2017, Ford New Zealand is especially excited to be introducing the Ford Transit with an automatic transmission.

“Having the Transit with the new EcoBlue engine and an automatic transmission is going to be very big for not only our existing customers but a host of new customers,” said Thomas. “We see massive potential given its reputation, the driver-friendly smart features and overall capability.”

“What’s more the Transit Custom and Tourneo Custom are two of the only vans available with afive-star safety rating,” added Thomas. “This makes the Transit Custom the best option in light of the new health and safety laws where business owners, directors and managers need to ensure they are making the best choices for their drivers.”

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