Ford Reports Surge in Van Sales

Ford Transit Connect

Ford Transit Connect

Ford remains the UK’s leading manufacturer of commercial vehicles, with sales up by a fifth over the past 12 months according to the latest figures published by the firm itself.

The US company now accounts for 27.5 per cent of the total market, a step up from the 23.4 per cent stake it boasted over the course of 2014. And it is currently enjoying the best sales performance in nine years, not only consolidating its position of dominance but indicating the overall health of the UK’s automotive market as a whole.

2015 also saw Ford remain at the top of the European market for commercial vehicles, just over half a century since it first started selling its vans here.

Because of its sales success, a number of segments are dominated by Ford models. The Fiesta Van is king of the compact category, while various iterations of the Transit van remain more popular than any of their closest rivals.

Committed to Existing Ranges

Overall, Ford sold three times as many vans last month than the market’s second-biggest commercial vehicle manufacturer. And at the moment its position at the top seems unassailable, unless a major scandal occurs.

Company spokesperson Andy Barratt said that sales in February were at their highest level since 2007 - before the economic downturn caused problems for manufacturers from which they have only recently recovered.

Barratt went on to say that Ford has continued to invest in vans and cars alike, committing to existing ranges while also pursuing innovative marketing strategies in order to remain relevant.

SMMT Expect Figures to Remain Strong

Ford’s story of sales success is even more impressive when considered in the context of the performance of the van market as a whole last month. The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) reported that van sales only rose by 0.4 per cent in February compared with the same month last year.

The SMMT did reveal that there was a significant dip in demand for light vans, accounting for those weighing less than two tonnes, while those in the 2.5 to 3.5 tonne weight category helped to offset this thanks to a 6.2 per cent increase.

SMMT spokesperson Mike Hawes admitted that with record growth seen in 2015, the UK’s van market was inevitably going to hit a plateau at some point. And the implication of the latest sales figures is that this time has arrived.

Hawes said that, in spite of this, analysts were expecting to see overall sales figures remaining strong for the next few months, even if rapid growth is not on the cards.

A rapid increase in the number of pickups sold was noted, with a 20.2 per cent year-on-year rise in sales revealed last month. This was overshadowed by the 60 per cent boost to 4x4 sales, buoyed by the rising interest in this type of vehicle amongst commercial operators and consumers alike.

The UK’s automotive marketplace is in good shape, and these figures reveal that frontrunners such as Ford can capitalise on the current economic circumstances.

Categories: Ford / Transit Connect /

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