Ford pushes the panic button

Riley Riley

With sales down 24 per cent, it’s not surprising that Ford Australia has decided to play the rationalisation card.

The company has announced it will be pulling its Focus ST, Focus ST X and Fiesta ST models from the local line-up which will disappear by the end of the year.

Ford says it will focus instead on areas of growing customer demand such as SUVs, commercial vehicles and electrification.

The move brings back memories of Holden’s ill-fated 2019 advertising campaign, This is how we SUV when the once great Aussie brand shifted its focus to SUVs at the expense of traditional fare.

And we all know how that ended  . . .

Ford’s Andrew Birkic said Focus ST and Fiesta ST had been segment-defining hot hatches for the company and had put smiles on the faces of enthusiasts across the country.

“We want to thank those fans for their passion, but with semi-conductor-related supply shortages and our focus on emerging areas of growth, we’ve made the difficult decision to call time on these iconic hot hatches in Australia,” he said.

“We look forward to sharing more about the next era of our performance vehicle line-up soon,” he added.

To put this in perspective, sales of Ford Focus are down a massive 83 per cent year to date, while Fiesta has dropped by a staggering 75 per cent which is a short road to nowhere in the competitive automotive market.

But the Ranger and Mustang continue to do well for the company.

Ford is not alone among the major manufactures when it comes to crippling loses in the current market, with Nissan down 34 percent, Honda 26 per cent, Mazda 16 per cent and Subaru 11 per cent — only Mitsubishi is on the right side of the ledger with a 10 per cent increase.

Skoda is also suffering with sales falling 41 per cent, Volkswagen 39 per cent and Audi 25 per cent.

The pain doesn’t stop there either, with Jaguar taking a whopping 43 per cent hit and Land Rover 38 per cent.

Grinners include Citroen, up 126 per cent, Genesis up 61 per cent, Ram 35 per cent, Renault 40 per cent, plus MG and Suzuki with 20 per cent each.

Toyota in case you’re wondering enjoyed a small 3 per cent increase.

Overall the figures show that car makers are doing it tough in a market where buyers are quick to change allegiance when the wait for a new car can be 18 months or more.


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