The year 2014 was one of transition for the Ford Motor Company. The automaker announced or launched 14 new products during the year, including the ever-important-for-volume 2015 F-150 and less important, but significantly iconic 2015 Mustang. During the year, The Blue Oval lost nearly a full point in market share to rivals, but Ford dealers enjoyed record profits. Now, both FoMoCo and its dealers are armed with new models, and there is a significant amount of excitement around the brand as it looks to grow sales and profits.
At the recent National Auto Dealers Association (NADA) meeting in January, Ford executives and dealers shared insights from the year. Dealers said they were happy with Ford’s progress and are eager to regain pickup truck customers lost to Chevy, GMC, or Ram once they get fully stocked with the new F-150.
“A lot of those products were not physically launched in the market until the end of the year,” Stephen Odell, Ford Motor Company executive vice president of global marketing, told reporters at the NADA meetings. “Now, the volume starts to come through as we ramp up. So on top of that, we’re launching more vehicles this year, and the momentum will keep going. F-series clearly is a big driver of volume growth this year.”
The increase in F-Series sales will be driven by the new F-150, which is expected to be available in full supply (as opposed to a few units here and there) on dealer lots by April. Once the trucks are arriving in full force, dealers expect to see increases in sales and profit.
“Once we get the trucks, everything will be fine,” Paul Levine, president of Brandon Ford in Tampa, FL. told Automotive News. “Anyone complaining right now, you need to re-evaluate your franchise agreement. This is as good as it gets.”