Summer Series – How’s it going… Ford?
With sales down 14% in Europe and no model in the top ten cars sold in France (the Puma crossover is 14th), the first half of 2022 is bleak for Ford. The financial analysis even shows a hell of a hole in the air.
The Dearborn-based manufacturer saw its global sales (€30.74 million) fall 5% in the first quarter of 2022 compared to the first quarter of 2021. Its margins shrank from 8.5% to 5.2% over the same period. And its pre-tax profit plummeted 41%. The brand’s share price fell by 30% in a year. Financially under pressure, the American manufacturer nevertheless forecasts an operating result of 15 to 25% for 2022.
In Europe, the brand barely shines on the list of best-selling passenger cars (20th place in 2021 for the Puma). Ford, on the other hand, is the undisputed king of commercial vehicles with the Transit Custom and Ranger models (number 1 pick-up on the old continent). That is why the manufacturer wants to jointly develop all of its series in the direction of electrification.
On March 14, 2022, Ford confirmed the presentation of seven all-new electric and connected passenger or commercial vehicles by 2024 and is targeting sales of 600,000 electric vehicles in Europe by 2026.
To achieve this goal, the manufacturer has completely transformed its organization and created a brand new unit called Model E, which will design, manufacture and market all of the brand’s electric vehicles (EV) including utilities.
The Cologne plant in Germany becomes the control center for this strategy. From 2023, the brand’s first all-electric passenger car will be assembled here, a compact 5-seater crossover with a range of 500 km on a single charge. A second crossover, this time sportier, will come from the same production unit in 2024. Two significant launches when we know that SUVs and crossovers account for more than half of Ford’s passenger car sales in Europe.
What both models have in common is that they are based on Volkswagen’s MEB platform. The same used for the ID range. A win-win sharing. By buying VW technology, Ford avoids huge R&D costs. The Wolfsburg manufacturer develops its own activity with the provision of its technologies, which allows to make the development of the electrical sector more profitable faster.
With the Mustang Mach-E, which has been available since last year, and the E-Puma for 2024, a total of nine E-models from the American brand are to be offered in Europe.
Ford is skilfully surfing another thriving sector in France: superethanol. In the first half of 2022, given the high fuel prices, many buyers are turning to cars that can run on superethanol. Ford is one of the few manufacturers offering vehicles that can run on this fuel.
As of early 2022, of the 11,745 Puma sold, its E85 variants accounted for 54.2%. And in the last quarter of 2021, two out of every three Fords sold were in the FluexFuel version. Ford surprised the competition by being the first manufacturer to offer new E85-compatible vehicles. To this day the only one to offer six E85-compatible vehicles.