Ford’s days as one of the brands with the highest car sales in Brazil are over. The focus became higher value cars, aimed at a much smaller audience than the Ka and Ecosport eras. Fewer customers, but better financial health.
With the departure of three of its top-volume vehicles from the market, a decline in the brand’s position within the automotive and light commercial sectors is inevitable.
In 2021, Ford sold 17.2% of what it sold in Brazil two years ago. This year, the brand closed with 37,778 units while in 2019, the last year before the pandemic, it sold 218,526 copies.
Compared to 2020, which had 139,225 license numbers, the brand sold in 2021 only 27.1% of what it sold the previous year. Data is from Fenabrave.
Regarding market share, Ford finished 2021 in 11th place with 1.91% of the market. In 2019 and 2020, it ranked fifth in market share, with 8.22% and 7.14%, respectively. Only General Motors, Volkswagen and Fiat, along with Renault (2019) and Hyundai (2020), were ahead in that period.
By the end of Ford’s domestic production, only Peugeot and Citroën could not surpass it in sales in 2021, being 12th and 13th, respectively, in that position. The other automakers behind the North American company are high-end or luxury brands, which operate with an average high ticket.
Flavio Padovan, partner at MRD Consulting and former Ford executive, projects that, over the course of the year, Ford should see its market share shrink even further, dropping to 1% or even less.
“It will be under the French Peugeot and Citroën. Ford’s biggest challenge will be to balance the account in the low volume market. and cars”, analyzes the expert.
According to Padovan, it is clear that Brazil and South America have long ceased to be priority markets for the company and this somehow “reduces” the domestic operation of the automaker.
“To serve Brazil, Ford is behind in the queue. The cycle from planning to delivery of the car, through production, is longer compared to when there was national production.
Cassio Pagliarini, another former Ford executive, points out that the company’s decision to focus investment on electrification makes it less competitive in Brazil.
“The high cost of this type of car, whose sales volume is very low in our country, further reduces the various economic options for the Brazilian market”, reflects a partner in Bright Consulting.
Finally, Ricardo Bacellar, founding partner of Bacellar Advisory Boards and advisor to SAE Brasil, highlights the difficulties arising from the strategy of contending with customers in the highest price range.
“Ford has chosen to compete with the best established brands, while its reputation here is consolidated as an overall manufacturer, with a strong presence in the entry-level segment and in other categories that are not considered premium.”