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Ford celebrated its centenary in the UK in 2011 and was the country's top-selling car brand for 44 years until finally overtaken in 2021 by Volkswagen. For much of that period Britain also served as the headquarters for Ford Motor Company's European business, but this was transferred to Germany in 1998. Even so, Britain has been traditionally Ford's biggest European market by far, and the global #3 after the US and China. All that changed in 2020, when UK sales plunged by almost half, falling behind both Germany and Canada. Ford reported wholesale volumes of just 208k vehicles that year (compared to 387k two years earlier). Semiconductor shortages put further pressure on sales in 2021 with the result that Ford was overtaken as the local leader for the first time since 1976. Worse still, Ford was pushed into 4th place overall with registrations of 116.3k passenger cars. Even more surprising, perhaps, was the fact that Ford's traditional best-selling models, the Fiesta and Focus, failed even to make the local top ten. Only the Puma scraped in at #9 with sales of 28.7k units. Disappointing performance in passenger cars was offset by strong performance by the brand's commercial vehicles business. The Ford Transit has been the best-selling model in the medium commercial vehicle segment every year since 1965 - an extraordinary 55-year run - and accounts for almost all the company's LCV sales. In 2021, Ford not only retained but extended its lead in this sector witha 34% jump to 122k vans, as many as the next four manufacturers combined. Europe has also long been one of the group's most troubled regions financially, and Ford has announced a series of measures since 1999 designed to cut costs and boost profitability. These included the winding down of car production at its historic Dagenham factory. Almost all models are now imported from Europe. The UK-based Ford Motor Company Ltd reported revenues of £13.0bn in 2019 and net profit of £293m. Just under half of revenues came from the UK and the remainder from other European markets. Declared advertising expense was £122m. Lisa Brankin was appointed as managing director of Ford of Britain in 2020. See also main Ford Motor Company profile.
Capsule checked 16th August 2021
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Historical profile information for Ford UK
Adbrands Update 7th Jan 2022: Component shortages have contributed to seismic changes in the traditional order among auto manufacturers in several countries. In the US, Toyota overtook GM as the country's biggest carmaker. In the UK, Ford was deposed as the top-selling passenger car brand for the first time since 1976 by Volkswagen (although it retained and even extended itrs lead in commercial vehicles). Volumes plunged to just 116k cars, and traditional best-sellers the Fiesta and Focus didn't even make the top ten. Disappointing performance in passenger cars was offset by strong performance by the brand's commercial vehicles business, where registrations soared by more than a third to 122k units, more than the next four manufacturers combined. In France, too, there was a major upset as Peugeot overtook Renault as the top-selling car brand for the first time since 1935, with 285.9k registrations to the latter's 269.0k.
Adbrands Daily Update 22nd Mar 2021: "Heartbeat". A B2B campaign for Ford's fleet monitoring technology is hardly the most exciting of briefs, but AMV BBDO has worked wonders with a challenging assigment. The results are spectacular and oddly hypnotic, offering a Ford Transit-powered delivery network as the visual metaphor for the beating heart of the national economy. There's some fantastic but invisible CGI behind the flawless synchronised balletics of these vehicular red blood cells. Star director Nicolai Fuglsig helmed the spot, which was apparently filmed in the outskirts of Madrid after weeks of practice choreography using toy vans. Mint Royale delivered the pulsating electronic soundtrack.
Adbrands Social Media 3rd July 2018: Ford rages against the dying of the light in this rousing spot from WPP's GTB agency, underpinned by Dylan Thomas's classic verse. There's some sort of strange masochistic pleasure to be gained from seeing workaday frustrations illustrated, and especially when they're then erased by the joys of driving at speed. It's not the first time we've seen this concept, but the poetic counterpoint adds new force and depth.
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