Ford (NYSE: F ) has been slow to expand into emerging markets in the last decade, but that's a mistake that CEO Alan Mulally and his management team have vowed to change as quickly as possible in his "One Ford" strategy.
Ford and its Lincoln luxury brand will launch 17 new or refreshed vehicles in the Middle East and Africa over the next two years, the company announced today. Those vehicles will represent designs in the hottest segments, including the Fusion mid-size sedan and the EcoSport, Ford's small SUV that has sold very well internationally.
To support its potential growth and keep its operations more profitable going forward, Ford is realigning its operations into one business unit: Ford Middle East and Africa. Ford represents as many as 47 markets in the regions.
"The Middle East and Africa is poised to become one of the next big automotive growth markets and we want to be there for these customers with great new cars and trucks," said Stephen Odell, president, Ford of Europe, Middle East and Africa, in a press release. "Ford and Lincoln sales have grown 60 percent in the Middle East over the past four years, and we expect total industry sales in the combined Middle East and Africa region to increase nearly 40 percent to around 5.5 million units by 2020."