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Ford aims to treble Kuga 'true fleet' sales

Date: 12 March 2013   |   Author: Hugh Hunston

Ford plans to treble 'true fleet' sales for its new Kuga and explore Motability as a "viable, carefully controlled channel" as it aims to increase overall annual sales for the second-generation compact SUV from around 10,500 to at least 13,000.

Alex Gallagher, Ford's product marketing manager for medium and large cars, said: "We are looking at the SUV segment as a huge opportunity for profitable growth. But we don't view daily rental, at which Nissan throws the Qashqai, or Motability, which accounted for 1300 our of 1700 [Vauxhall] Antaras [in January], in the same way as some of our rivals."

He added: "We are keeping a close and positive eye on Motability but will be very careful because we don't want relatively high volumes of similar specification cars flooding back at the same time after 36 months. That makes disposal more difficult and compromises RVs, which are 8% up with the new cheaper, roomier and better-specified Kuga. But Motability offers huge volume opportunities in the compact SUV segment."

Gallagher pointed to total SUV sales within Motability climbing from 150 units in 2003 to 35,000 last year, and emphasised that the £25,000 ceiling intensified the potential for smaller and compact SUVs.

The Kuga is likely to retain the lowest short-cycle, daily rental element within Ford's range even with Gallagher's predicted rise in the sales from 2% to 6% of the fleet compact SUV sector.