Ford, the car manufacturer that pioneered mainstream car manufacturing, has announced their exit from the Japanese and Indonesian markets. This means the end of the line for the company’s dealerships and sales and imports of both Ford and Lincoln vehicles in these nations.
In the land of the rising sun, Ford sold a mere 5,000 cars, or 1.5 percent market share, from 52 dealerships. That’s unsurprising given the fact car sales from non-domestic marques struggle to keep up with the myriad of Japanese makes. Ford, who set foot in Japan in 1974, sold the Fiesta, Focus, Mustang, Ecosport, Kuga and Explorer SUVs while its premium segment was handled by Lincoln Navigator and MKX SUV.
In Indonesia, Ford struggled to compete with established Japanese players where brands like Toyota, Daihatsu and Suzuki have become household names in South East Asia’s most populous nation.
Ford began its Indonesian operations in 2002 by importing cars to its 44 franchised dealerships. Last year, they cumulatively sold only 6,000 vehicles – that’s 0.6 percent market share of Indonesia’s new car sales. However, the brand will continue to operate until 2017 before a third party will handle the brand’s warranty and repair responsibilities.
A Ford spokesman was quoted as saying there was no “reasonable path to profitability” for the company’s operation in both countries.
In Malaysia, Ford is fortunately in good hands, selling 12,130 (1.8 percent market share) vehicles in 2015, of which 9,264 are commercial vehicles. While Ford rounds up in eight place, the majority of the company’s sales is contributed by the Ranger pickup, while just 2,866 of their passenger cars found new homes.
Ford’s diverse passenger car lineup is comprised of the Fiesta, Focus, Mondeo, S-Max, Kuga and Ecosport with the latest EcoBoost powertrains (Focus facelift with EcoBoost to arrive later this year) did little to gain traction in the Malaysian market. But as the Ranger’s bold aesthetic continues to attract buyers, the Blue Oval’s position in Malaysia will less than likely to suffer the same fate in Japan and Indonesia.