Ford has seen a vast improvement in sales in the UK at the beginning of this year. In January alone there was an 11.7% increase in sales over the same period in 2013. Ford currently holds around 15.3% of the UK market sales which is a 1.1% increase over the previous year.
The Russian Mark Ovenden is in charge of Ford UK and has been since 2011. He was previously boss of Ford Russia from 2008-2011 and this is where he began his working life, coming through the ranks of the Ford Graduate scheme. “People are also passionate about cars in a way they aren’t about other products and they treasure memories of previous cars. I fell in love with a red [Ford Escort] XR3 back in 1984 and I thought the quickest way to own one would be to work for Ford, so that’s why I joined the graduate scheme. I’ve never worked for anyone else.” said Ovenden.
Ford UK is the third largest market for Ford and Ovenden believes that the UK market is one of the most competitive in the world. The Fiesta, Focus and Transit have been the best selling Ford vehicles in the UK for a long time now and as the 4x4 and SUV market are becoming ever more popular, Ford have recently released the Ecosport and Edge.
The next few years will see the introduction of the new Mondeo, Vignale and Mustang which are expected to be big sellers.
Although Ford UK no longer manufacture any vehicles, they still employ over 13,500 people and Ovenden says: “We are part of a global company and Britain’s role is in the design, engineering and manufacturing of low-carbon technology – 40 per cent of the vehicle’s cost is the engine.”
The three major manufacturing sites in the UK are Dagenham which produces diesel engines, Halewood produces Transmissions and Bridgend produces petrol engines.
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