Ford of Europe says it's on track to turn a profit again by 2015 after years of heavy losses. A key to the turnaround is the automaker's fast-growing lineup of SUVs, which Ford of Europe sales boss Roelant de Waard expects to earn strong margins. He discussed Ford's plans during a recent interview with Automotive News Europe Correspondent Nick Gibbs.
Ford Motor sales boss Jim Farley talked about tripling SUV sales in Europe by 2018. You sell about 100,000 Kugas a year now, so does that mean 300,000 SUVs by then?
You wouldn't be very wrong if we assumed that was the number we're talking about.
What does Ford expect to gain from its rapid SUV expansion?
There are three important reasons. First, if you want to be a significant player in the market, you need to be in all the key sectors. Since SUVs are growing, that's where we want to be. Secondly, I believe Ford is a very credible SUV brand so it's a natural territory. It's important to have vehicles that are more aspirational, more emotional. And lastly, it is revenue. To make money you want to play both in the volume segments, which may be less profitable, and in the more premium segments, where the margins are.