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November 3, 2015

CAF spoke with Tim Witt, Ford of Canada’s new Vice President of Sales about factors driving new vehicle sales, impending CAFE standards, market trends and the company’s long standing commitment to fleet.

CAF: New vehicle sales are on pace to set a new record in Canada and expected to be the best year for sales in the U.S. since 2001 even as the two economies are operating quite differently. Please comment on the factors driving new Canadian vehicle sales compared to the U.S. market and how long you see this strength lasting. 

Tim Witt, Vice-President of Sales, Ford of Canada
Tim Witt, Vice-President of Sales, Ford of Canada.
WITT: Ford continues to be the number one selling brand in Canada because consumers love the high quality, safety, fuel efficiency and advanced technology found across our vehicle lineup. Lower fuel prices and borrowing costs are also providing a boost to consumer disposable income, making it even more enticing to buy or lease a new Ford. We foresee global GDP and industry growth rates of about three per cent annually through 2020. CAF: With a 35 MPG average CAFE standard coming in 2020 and with a four per cent annual improvement thereafter, what plans does Ford have to continue to provide the power many commercial customers need in Canada especially in severe duty applications?

WITT: While the fuel economy of our entire vehicle lineup has improved significantly over the past few decades, we continue to pursue opportunities to further improve it by implementing a range of advanced engine and transmission technologies, improving aerodynamics, and reducing weight, without compromising the vehicle capability our customers want and need.

Looking ahead, we recently unveiled the all-new 2017 Ford F-Series Super Duty lineup, the toughest, smartest, most capable Super Duty ever. The all-new Super Duty lineup will feature reduced weight through the use of high-strength steels and aluminum alloys, while delivering the best Super Duty towing and payload ratings ever.

CAF: Over the years Ford of Canada has developed a well-earned reputation for being a dependable, reliable and consistent fleet provider. How will Ford continue to support the fleet business and balance its needs against those of the retail market?

WITT: Both fleet and retail industries are growing in Canada, and this growth is factored into Ford’s future sales plans and production volumes for both the retail market and fleet business.

Tim Witt, Vice-President of Sales, Ford of Canada
Tim Witt, Vice-President of Sales, Ford of Canada.
CAF: With the market trend being towards CUV/SUV vehicles and less so for cars, what is Ford’s strategy in terms of sales volumes going forward?

Ford’s commitment to the SUV market is very important. SUVs are becoming a much more important segment in the global automotive market and helping drive Ford’s global sales. Ford’s core SUVs, Escape, Edge, Explorer and Expedition, are as popular as ever. This year, Ford Motor Company of Canada saw the best month of August on record, and the fifth consecutive month of sales increase, for the all-new Canadian-built Ford Edge. Sales increase were driven by sales of the Ford Edge, up four per cent, the Ford Explorer, up 59 per cent, and the Ford Expedition, up 78 per cent, reflecting continued consumer interest in Ford SUVs.

Ford is leading in technology, design and versatility and therefore Ford SUVs continue to be market leaders. We expect the SUV market share to increase in the years to come and successful car companies will be those with a strong history of SUV leadership and a strong lineup to match.

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