Roughly six months ago, Ford Motor Company announced the creation of the new Ford Middle East & Africa business unit, realigning the four regions of North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, South Africa, and the Middle East into a single region that spans Saudi Arabia to South Africa, and from Nigeria to Kenya. The intention of the new organization is to better serve customers and expand in the fast-growing region. Today, this re-organization has resulted in the creation of a new growth strategy for the region, with Ford planning an aggressive product rollout that leverages its One Ford global product portfolio with a focus on small, mid-size, and large vehicle segments.
The new strategy entails launching at least 25 new vehicles by 2016 in the Middle East and Africa markets, with the automaker also confirming that several additional vehicles from its global portfolio will come to the region in the near future. The plan was announced at a special “Go Further” event in Johannesburg, which was attended by 1,000 employees, Ford dealers, suppliers, government officials, and media.
Specifically, Ford’s Middle East & Africa product offensive consists of:
- New Focus: a sleeker, more advanced and more refined version of Ford’s highly-popular (and world’s best-selling) nameplate. The refreshed compact will go on sale in the Middle East & Africa in 2015.
- New Fusion: the mid-sizer featuring an attractive design and craftsmanship, as well as smart technology. The Fusion is set to go on sale in the Middle East in 2014 and in Africa the year after.
- New Mustang: the iconic American sports car is set to launch in the Middle East and Africa in 2015.
- An accelerated rollout of new technologies in the Middle East & Africa region, including EcoBoost engines, SYNC in-car connectivity, inflatable rear seat belts, MyKey and other driver assist technologies.
In addition to those announcements, Ford also showed an image of the Figo Concept, a vehicle that previews the automaker’s “upcoming new global small car”. The production vehicle, according to Ford, will offer be introduced in Africa in the future.
But why is Ford pushing so hard in the new market? In a word: opportunity.
According to the chief of the new business unit, Jim Benintende, 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.
“Middle East & Africa is the final frontier for global automotive growth and we are putting the infrastructure and people in place to participate in this growth with the introduction of new products, leveraging our One Ford global strengths”, he said.