Ford Focus is best-selling model worldwide in 2012
Double-digit percentage rise in sales makes the Focus Ford’s first worldwide top-seller since the Model A.
A new study by R.L. Polk & Co. reveals that the best-selling car in the world for 2012 was the Ford Focus. With more than 1 million registered last year, the Focus outsold the runner-up Toyota Corolla by about 200,000.
Counting the Focus, Ford has three models that placed in 2012’s top 10 sales list. The ubiquitous F-Series pickup placed third at 785,630 new-vehicle registrations while the Focus' little brother, the Fiesta, found itself in sixth place at 723,130.
Registrations are the sharpest proof of a car's popularity. Rather than sales reports, which show how many vehicles have been sold to dealers -- but not necessarily to customers -- registration data show how many vehicles are actually in customer hands.
That Ford is the only American brand with more than one vehicle in the top 10 and the sole marque with three models on the list is a testament to the success of CEO Alan Mulally’s "One Ford" initiative. With the aim of developing and marketing smaller, more economical cars worldwide to flesh out its already robust truck sales, One Ford is bearing fruit with more than $35 billion in earnings over the past four years and a 16 percent increase in global Focus registrations from 2011-2012 alone -- including an incredible 51 percent spike in Focus registrations in China, where one of every four Focus sales occurred in 2012.
Americans might be surprised that the F-Series -- the best-selling pickup truck for an astonishing 36 years and the top-selling model of all U.S. vehicles for more than 30 straight years -- isn't the best-selling vehicle in the world. That title is undoubtedly important for Ford -- historic, even, considering that the last Ford to be the world’s best-selling car was the Model A -- but it certainly doesn’t mark the end of Ford’s aims.
Toyota still has the best-selling car in the United States with the Camry, having regained the title of best-selling brand in the world from GM in 2012. Ford’s intense efforts in bulking up its small-car sales and overall production worldwide, including a second plant in China that expanded total capacity to 600,000 units, seem to forecast a bright future as consumers in the U.S. and China trend toward smaller cars like the Focus and Fiesta.
Ford U.S. sales analyst Erich Merkle told Bloomberg News that Ford is attempting to “better represent what the majority of the world is looking for, and they’re looking for smaller passenger cars.”
With the Focus set as the best-selling model in the world and the Fiesta as the best-selling subcompact in the world, Ford appears ready to push the One Ford strategy toward an attempt at global sales dominance.
Jim Farley, Ford executive vice president of global marketing, sales and service, reiterated the importance of the Focus-Fiesta combination to Ford’s future. “Our global products are resonating with consumers – especially in the best-selling, most competitive segments – with their unique combination of fuel efficiency, high quality, rich content and fun-to-drive personalities.”
Here are the top 10 new cars by registrations in 2012, including a Chinese-market car manufactured jointly by GM:
- Ford Focus: 1,020,410
- Toyota Corolla: 872,774
- Ford F-Series: 785,630
- Wuling Zhiguang: 768,870
- Toyota Camry: 729,793
- Ford Fiesta: 723,130
- Volkswagen Golf: 699,148
- Chevrolet Cruze: 661,325
- Honda Civic: 651,159
- Honda CR-V: 624,982
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