Ford Keeps 2010 Expectations Quiet
“We are not ready yet to give any guidance because any prediction I could make today is going to be wrong,” he was quoted as saying by Autonews. “What I want to see is another couple of months of what happens in Germany without the scrappage, because then we will be better able to understand what the underlying economy is like and whether it is starting to grow."
Even if European sales grew considerably in the last months, mostly thanks to scrappage schemes on the continent, Fleming thinks the auto sector is still weak and points to Germany, a market in which new-car sales rose 26.1 percent to 2,990,766 units in the first nine months. He believes that Germany's economy is still unstable and, once the government will stop offering support, the carmakers selling cars in the country will start encountering problems again.
“We have many other (scrapping programs) starting to run out and we don't truly know at the moment what's happening with the underlying economy,” he said.
But Ford is one of the companies that benefitted the most from the scrappage programmes started across Europe, with its fuel efficient models posting good sales in most countries that established such a campaign.
“Our market share has developed very positively this year, moving us from the No. 4 brand to the No. 2 brand behind Volkswagen and that's a place we like to be,” Fleming said. “But at the end of it all we won't be measured on share, we'll be measured on overall profits. In an environment where the market is down so much, it is easy to grow share if you are prepared to lose money - and we are not.”