Ford Middle East does well in 2009

Ford has quite a few reasons to smile lately, with the company posting an outstanding full year net income of $2.7 billion. Ford, the only one of the Big Three U.S. automakers that did not opt for a government bailout last year, posted an improvement of US$17.5 billion from 2008, or 86 cents per share, driven in part by favorable net pricing, structural cost reductions, net gains on debt reduction actions and strong Ford Credit results.

This marks Ford’s first full year of positive net income since 2005 and a $17.5 billion improvement over 2008, and the company expects to be profitable for full year 2010 on a pre-tax basis excluding special items, for North America, total Automotive and total company, with positive Automotive operating-related cash flow.

Ford also scored a historic doubleheader during the recent North American International Motorshow after sweeping both North American Car and Truck of the Year titles for the 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid and the Transit Connect. This was followed by the launch of its innovative MyFord new in-vehicle connectivity, where yet again, Ford set the benchmark in human machine interface technologies.

And Ford Middle East is no stranger to this positive start, as it kicks off 2010 in full swing, having outperformed the industry in most of the major regional markets and consequently gained market share in 2009, thanks to a positive performance from the Ford, Lincoln and Mercury brands.

Full year vehicle sales from the three brands outperformed the regional industry average by more than 10 per cent. The regional average was estimated to have dropped by 17 per cent, according to Ford Middle East’s new managing director, Larry Prein.

“We saw an impressive growth in market share last year, despite the challenging market conditions, thanks to a healthy combination of strong new products and our tremendously dedicated and customer-driven dealer network,” said Prein, who recently took the helm of Ford Motor Company’s Middle Eastern operations, replacing Waldo Galan. Prein comes from a similar position running Ford’s Caribbean and Central America business across 24 countries. He brings extensive international experience, having held senior positions in Mazda Japan based in Hiroshima, Ford Asia Pacific Operations, Ford of Australia, as well as in the United States at Jaguar Cars, Lincoln Mercury and Ford Divisions.

“These achievements further confirm that our ONE Ford plan is working, delivering industry-leading products and technologies,” he added. “Our product offering is the best we have ever had across our showrooms, with almost every model being a segment leader. Today, Ford is not only offering some of the highest quality standards across the industry, but also leading the pack with the number of trend-setting innovations. Our customers are not only investing in high quality, dependable products, with outstanding technologies, but they’re also getting the best value for money. And what better way to give their approval than voting by their wallets?” he continued.

During the course of the year, Ford’s sales kept their energetic momentum quarter over quarter, having registered nearly 15 per cent growth in Q2 over Q1, and an additional 10 per cent growth in Q3 over Q2, while keeping the momentum in the final quarter. And the outlook for 2010 remains positive according to Prein, thanks to planned network expansions in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Iraq, combined with strong product offerings.

Ford’s product drive remains on track for 2010 with at least five new products making their way into the region, hot off the heels of the high-tech 2010 Taurus, and the mighty off-roader F-150 SVT Raptor and its new desert conquering 400hp 6.2L engine. The new 2011 Mustang leads these new launches with its new powertrains: the awesome 5.0L V8 with its 400+ net hp and the more economical 3.7L V6 with its 305 net hp output.

“This year represents an important milestone for Ford in the Middle East thanks to the key initiatives we are working on with our dealers. We offer some of the best vehicle ownership experiences, sales thru service. We have a strong dealer network totally committed to growing the Ford customer base and world-class products that clearly set the tone for what to expect from the brand in the near future,” he concluded.

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