Ford Automotive Operations - Europe (Italy)
Ford entered the markets of Europe soon after its incorporation in the United States, exporting cars to Britain as early as 1903. In response to growing demand for its products, Ford opened its first overseas sales branch in France. The first Ford regional company and assembly plant outside North America were established in Britain in 1911.
Today, there are 47 Ford automotive manufacturing locations across Europe.
Italy -- Ford established a national sales company in Italy in 1923. The headquarters and sales offices of Ford Italia S.p.A. are in Rome. Ford Italy has a parts distribution center in Pomezia, outside of Rome, and two training centers, one in Zingonia (northern Italy) and one in Rome.
There are 250 Ford employees and nearly 270 Ford dealers in the country. Ghia S.p.A., Turin is a wholly-owned subsidiary and operates as a design studio for Ford.
In 1996, Ford Italy maintained its status as the top importer with 180,000 vehicles sold and a market share of 9.2 percent. The Ford Fiesta retained its status as the best selling import car in 1996, selling 83,776 units. The Ford Escort sold 37,914 units and the Mondeo has been the No. 2 in Italy in its class with 22,324 units. In addition, Ford is still the No. 1 seller of estate cars in Italy, with 55,899 units (Escort, Mondeo and Scorpio station wagons) and a share of 23 percent in this particular segment. The Galaxy, with 2,729 units, is among the most successful MPVs in Italy. The Ka, launched in November 1996, has already become one of the most well accepted and known small cars in Italy.
Ford is very successful in diesel car sales with 25,824 units sold, which represent 16.3 percent of Ford sales. The total Italian diesel percentage is 15 percent, rapidly increasing (in 1995 it was 10.9 percent). The Ford Transit is the No. I import medium-commercial vehicle with 13,574 vehicles sold in Italy.