Ford Motor Company said it plans to accelerate new vehicle introductions in Middle East & Africa, leveraging the company’s One Ford global portfolio and targeting opportunities for growth in the car, utility and truck segments.
Speaking on the eve ofthe Dubai International Motor Show, Ford said it plans to launch at least 30 new vehicles by 2020 in Middle East & Africa as part of a new regional strategy. Ford’s product push will start quickly with eight new vehicles throughout Middle East & Africa by the end of next year, including the following that will be shown at the Dubai show:
• The Ford GT super sports car, which is making its regional debut in Dubai this week.
• The all-new Shelby GT350 Mustang. The Middle East is one of the biggest Mustang markets outside of North America.
• The all-new 2016 Ford Edge SUV that launches next year in MEA.
• The new 2016 Ford Explorer SUV, which is launching this month in the Middle East.
• The new 2016 Ford Ranger pickup, which is Ford’s best-selling vehicle in MEA and produced in Silverton, South Africa.
• The all-new 2016 Ford Figo compact car, which is currently launching in MEA.
“Middle East & Africa is one of the world’s most exciting and growing vehicle markets and we are moving very quickly to expand our range with exciting cars, utilities and trucks,” said Jim Farley, Ford executive vice president, Europe, Middle East & Africa. “We are passionate about meeting the diverse wants and needs of the customers in this region – and that’s how we are going to profitably grow in 2016 and beyond.”
Throughout its broad range of vehicles, Ford has introduced a number of innovative systems and technologies in its vehiclesdesigned to keep drivers and passengers safer on the road. These include Inflatable Rear Seat Belts, Ford SYNC connectivity and infotainment system and MyKey, which helps parents encourage teens to drive more responsibly by managing features like maximum speed and radio volume.
Other newly-launched technologies are designed to assist the driver in maintaining control of the vehicle and avoiding crashes. These include Roll Stability Control, Lane Departure Warning, AdaptiveCruise Control with Collision Warning and Blind Spot Information System (BLIS) with Cross-Traffic Alert.
The product and technology acceleration comes two years after Ford announced the formation of its Middle East & Africa region at the Dubai Motor Show in November 2013. Since then, Ford has consolidated the sub-regions of Middle East, North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa and South Africa, into a single business unit.
As part of its long-term strategy, Ford MEA is strengthening every aspect of its business, including:
• Opening 35 new dealerships in the next two years
• Improving customer experiences
• Further tailoring global vehicles to the needs of MEA markets
• Improving its distribution strength and capability
• Identifying efficient sourcing opportunities for global and regional production
• Building and developing its regional organisation
• Building and developing its vehicle finance operation
• Improving cost of ownership and spare parts availability throughout the region
“It’s an incredibly exciting time for Ford in this growing region,” said Jim Benintende, president of Ford Middle East and Africa. “We are committed to serving customers in this region with the very best of Ford, and this will drive growth and profitability.”
The total Middle East and Africa car market is expected to grow 40 percent by the end of the decade to 5.5 million vehicles. Ford said it expects its sales in Middle East and Africa to outpace industry growth.
“Middle East & Africa spans 67 markets from Saudi Arabia to South Africa, and from Nigeria to Kenya, so customer tastes are as diverse as our markets,” Benintende said. “Thanks to our One Ford plan, we can offer vehicles and technology that customers want and value, tailored to the needs of our markets.”
Since the creation of its MEA region in 2014, the company has expanded its business throughout the region, including:
• Executive Chairman Bill Ford helping inaugurate Ford’s MEA region with the 50th anniversary Mustang reveal on top of Dubai’s BurjKhalifa, the world’s tallest building
• Opening sales and purchasing offices in Morocco to expand in North Africa
• Announcing assembly this year of the Ford Ranger in Nigeria
• Opening 25 new dealerships in MEA
• More than quadruplingthe staff in its Dubai headquarters, with more growth to come