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Ford to give passenger cars a marketing push

Fresh push: The Mondeo will be three years old come April 2018, and it is likely to get a refresh and a marketing push in the New Year.

Slow-selling passenger car lines to get a rev up from Ford in 2018

Ford logo18 Dec 2017

FORD Australia is readying a new marketing campaign for 2018 that will focus on some of its passenger car lines as the company tries to renew interest in its slower selling models.

With the popular Ranger pick-up making up more than 54 per cent of Ford’s overall sales so far this year – and the Mustang sportscar the company’s second best seller – the Blue Oval has acknowledged the slowing sales of its passenger car lines.

Speaking with GoAuto at the recent EcoSport crossover launch, Ford Australia marketing director Danni Winter said that Ford would give an extra marketing push next year to some of its model lines that are under performing in the sales charts.

“From the marketing side we have still got some opportunities in our portfolio,” she said. “For some of our products that we think could do better from a sales perspective to grow, we will have some new campaigns next year to spearhead that along with our freshened product.

“I would expect we will continue to grow in those segments where we have opportunity and that the product is very well regarded. But in some elements we are not getting the share we would perhaps like. So we are going to be focused on that next year.

“With the freshening we have got coming, it is a great time to get back out with those products and reinforce the proposition we have with consumers.”

The sales of a number of Ford’s passenger car model lines have experienced significant drops this year, including the Fiesta light car, which is sitting on 1457 registrations to the end of November, a dip of 42.2 per cent and enough to keep it behind some of the slower sellers in the segment, such as the Holden Barina (3331) and Suzuki Baleno (2474).

Ford has yet to confirm whether it will offer the next-gen Fiesta that is already on sale in Europe, but given it will no longer be built in Thailand, it could prove too expensive to import here from Europe.

The Focus small car is also down by 11.2 per cent this year and its 5499 haul is well off the pace of not only segment sales leaders such as the Toyota Corolla (34,712) and Mazda3 (29,883), but also the Holden Astra (10,003), Subaru Impreza (11,074) and soon-to-depart Mitsubishi Lancer (6759).

In the mid-size segment, the Mondeo is steady, down by just 0.6 per cent with 2821 sales, enough for third place in the declining segment behind the Toyota Camry (22,411) and Mazda6 (3376).

Ms Winter acknowledged that the age of some models has impacted sales, but suggested that a refresh of some of the model lines would help turn the sales tide next year.

“So with those freshenings, be it all new or just freshening, we would always expect sales to peak up again and as the cycle ages it would come back down again. I think that is probably impacting our passenger sales, and probably was impacting SUV sales up until this year when we launched more and more derivatives and we have got growth year on year in SUVs as a result of those freshenings and new models.”

Ford has just updated the EcoSport crossover with a facelift, while the Kuga was replaced with a facelift – and a new name, Escape – earlier this year. The Everest gained five-seat and two-wheel-drive variants in the past 12 months, following the demise of the locally built Territory, while the mid-size Endura SUV launches later next year.

While the fate of the Fiesta is unclear, the Mondeo, which clocks up three years on the market in its current guise in April 2018, would be due for a mid-life upgrade in the next year.

An all-new Focus is expected to be revealed in the next six months, with a local launch possible either later in the year or early 2019.

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