Ford and Toyota scrap for pole position
Filed under: News
Latest global sales numbers show Ford sold almost 490,000 Focuses in the first six months of 2012, beating the Corolla by some 28,000 cars. But Toyota says Ford has got its numbers plain wrong.
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In a press release, Ford says its Focus "is the world's best-selling single car nameplate in 2012, having outsold every other model of car in the first six months of the year." But a quick call to the UK Toyota press office saw the Japanese car company produce their own numbers.
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"Global Corolla sales were 594,000 units January to June which does not include the Auris or Verso models," Toyota press officer David Crouch told AOL Money. That's some distance from the numbers produced by IHS Automotive for Ford, which calculated Corolla numbers at 462,187.
No you're notThe issue is further confused by the fact that Toyota uses different names for its Corolla in different markets of the world. For example, the Corolla is called Auris in the UK. Yet Toyota UK insists the global 594,000 numbers are correct and relate just to the Corolla.
Inconveniently, the company which did Ford's number crunching was unavailable for comment. Arguing aside, the Focus remains a turnaround car for Ford. Roll back to 2006 and the company had almost 100 models. This has now been trimmed to a bit over 20, part of the blue oval's 'One Ford' strategy.
The company also helped itself by getting rid of the Jaguar Land Rover and Aston Martin distractions so it could focus (sorry) on its core model range.
Back from the brinkNeedless duplication was avoided. By slashing the model count Ford also put more energy behind commonality of parts. Which also resulted in reduced R&D and marketing costs. It needed to. Earlier in the decade Ford was close to bankruptcy.
Even now the company is still, despite much success, losing money in Europe. Total sales slipped 7.1% in July. The lowest point since 1995 and indicative of worrying consumer confidence levels across the continent.
Meanwhile, let Toyota and Ford fight it out for the top sales spot. And perhaps VW should have a little dig into their own sales numbers too. There could still be everything to play for.