OREANDA-NEWS. Coming off one of the busiest years in Ford New Zealand’s history for new vehicle launches, Ford dealerships now feature one of the freshest and well-liked lineups in the country. The numbers seem to agree, as first quarter sales in 2016 are 29.3 percent above the same period in 2015.

Simon Rutherford, managing director, Ford New Zealand, says the company’s quarterly result is a proud achievement for the entire Ford network.

“A lot of work has gone on behind the scenes, in conjunction with our retail partners, to ensure our customers know Ford is the one to watch and the one to drive,” said Rutherford. “Our quarter one results are something to be proud and celebrate, but more importantly and perhaps what makes us even prouder, is what we are delivering for our customers.”

“The new range of Fords in New Zealand delivers capability, performance and overall value for money, from the award-winning Ford Ranger to the vehicle that embodies everything people love about cars - the Ford Mustang.” Rutherford added. “Whether you’re an A to B type driver or a track-driving enthusiast, Ford’s range has something to get New Zealanders excited.”

Rutherford also says there is more going on at Ford than just new vehicles.

“Across the Ford network, our retail partners are feeling confident and optimistic,” said Rutherford. “They are seeing a lot of people in their showrooms and talking to a lot of new and returning customers.”

Mustang Milestone

The new Mustang has now reached an unprecedented 1,000 orders in New Zealand. Of those orders, Ford has now delivered more than 350 to customers.

In addition, Ford New Zealand has had Mustang featured in a number of special events throughout the country.  In March, Mustang was featured in the 26th Annual Variety Bash on the South Island.  Ford New Zealand dealers toured nineteen Mustangs through the North Island. Most recently, the new Mustang drew crowds at this year’s Beach Hop 2016 - NZ’s largest classic car and nostalgia festival.

“The Mustang is an amazing draw card for people wherever it goes in New Zealand,” said Natalie Tustian, marketing manager, Passenger Vehicles, Ford New Zealand. “It has been generating a buzz, like only the Mustang can do, throughout the country and across the Ford network.”

The delivery estimate for the latest orders placed is now December 2016.

New Ford Focus leads resurgence in Ford passenger vehicles

Launched in New Zealand in late 2015, the Focus has charged to a top four finish in March.  The new Focus was introduced to New Zealand with its powerful and efficient new 1.5-liter four-cylinder EcoBoost engine, and is spearheading Ford’s resurgence in passenger vehicles in the country.

Ford Everest climbs to the top

Ford New Zealand’s newest SUV, the Ford Everest, took out its main competitor in March by a comfortable margin. The Everest was 50 percent ahead of its main competitor, the Toyota Prado, for the month.

“The Ford Everest was brought into New Zealand to offer customers a fully-capable yet refined 4WD SUV, and one specifically engineered and designed with our two models on offer to impress and win over Prado drivers,” said Rutherford. “The popularity of SUVs continues to grow in New Zealand and in this part of the SUV segment, we’re seeing fantastic success with Everest. Our customers appreciate the versatility, practicality and overall value the Everest offers.”

Ford Ranger is #1 – Again

The Ford Ranger continues its dominance in the market and was once again the overall top-selling new vehicle in the country in March with 689 Rangers sold.

“We launched a refreshed Ranger late last year that was much more than just a facelift,” said Jeremy Nash, marketing manager, SUV and Light Commercial, Ford New Zealand. “It only takes customers a two minute drive to realise just how much Ford has taken an already great ute and made it even better. We know customers have a lot of choice for utes in New Zealand, but they come back to Ranger. It’s the best value overall and hands down a superior ute in every respect.”

Still to come for New Zealand in 2016

Falcon Sprint

Arriving from May is the limited edition, high performance Falcon XR6 and XR8 Sprint models.  The Falcon XR8 Sprint has already sold out in New Zealand, and at the time of writing less than a dozen XR6 Sprints remain available.

Ford Australia drew on its performance heritage to launch the Falcon Sprint series, and only 1,400 limited edition Falcon Sprints were built – 550 XR6 Sprints and 850 XR8 Sprints. New Zealand was allocated 150 cars – 50 XR6 Sprints and 100 XR8 Sprints. Each will receive numbered build plates for each model, located on the engine.

The first customer Falcon Sprints arrive in May, and will continue to arrive through September.

Focus RS

Arriving into New Zealand mid-2016, the new Focus RS has already made waves around the world with an unprecedented amount of positive reviews by world motoring media. It was recently named BBC Top Gear Magazine’s Car of the Year for 2016.

With the 50-plus Focus RS destined for New Zealand already spoken for, Ford New Zealand is currently investigating additional stock for 2016 and/or 2017.