ALL-NEW FIGO, RANGER COMING
Have you been wondering why some fine vehicles manufactured by popular automakers like Ford are not launched in some countries? The answer was provided by Mr John Fitzpatrick, Director Export Operations and Growth Initiative, Ford Motor Corporation (FMC), who was the guest of BriscoeFord, one of the brand's two distributors in Nigeria.
He also gave insight into plans by Ford to unveil new products in the next few months through the duo. plan Fitzpatrick, who was chatting with the motoring press at BriscoeFord's showroom in Ikeja, Lagos, explained that the nature of a given vehicle, the profile of the market and other details like the quality of fuel of fuel available in a particular country, are some of the factors that interplay in this regard.
According to him, such decisions are preceded by an assessment of the various markets on based on existing information.
He said FMC is happy with the progress being made its brand in Nigeria, adding that to build on the success, the auto maker plans to introduce new models to the local market. The director added: 'Ford has improved its market share in Nigeria, so we need to get products into auto segments that are relevant to Nigeria to beef up its product line. Nigeria is a competitive market; we want cars in every segment represented.'
He hinted that some of the vehicles to be introduced are the all new Ford Ranger and the Ford Figo, which will be launched in April , 2010. Fitzpatrick described the Nigerian market as strategic to Ford and this informs the company's drive to improve its market share especially in the B-car segment which is relevant to the country.
He disclosed that Ford sells between 75,000 and 80,000 units annually in Nigeria; an impressive result according to him which has encouraged the car maker to increase its product line. Fitzpatrick, who is also the Regional Manager, Sub-Saharan Africa, reiterated Ford's commitment to provide efficient and reliable after-sales services to its Nigerian customers through an annual training and retraining of engineers and technicians who will service its brands satisfactorily.
He also disclosed that ford is planning for an expansion programme to improve its coverage of Nigeria, despite the challenges in the automobile market. The Ford director commenting on the corporation's social corporate responsibility disclosed that it has a global initiative of helping AIDS patients, to improve and prolong their lives.
FMC is a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Michigan U .S. and its brands include ford, Lincoln and mercury Volvo which it distributes across six continents. It has BriscoeFord, a subsidiary of R.T. Briscoe Nigeria Plc. as an authorised distributor of Ford vehicles in Nigeria.