Ford's Europe sales down 26.8% in 2020

Jordyn Grzelewski
The Detroit News

In a year defined by the coronavirus pandemic and its effects, Ford Motor Co.'s sales in Europe plummeted more than a quarter from the previous year.

Total vehicle sales of 974,982 in 2020 represented a 26.8% slide from 2019, according to figures the automaker released Friday. Passenger vehicle sales, which make up about two-thirds of the automaker's sales in the region, took a significant hit, dropping 32.1% to 645,156. Commercial vehicle sales, meanwhile, slid 13.6% to 329,826.

The Ford logo is seen at a Ford car dealership on January 11, 2019 in Berlin, Germany.

Still, the Dearborn automaker touted the strength of its commercial vehicle business, highlighting Ford of Europe's sixth consecutive year as the No. 1 commercial vehicle brand in the region. The automaker's market share of 14.6% for the segment reflects an increase of 0.7 percentage points.

“2020 was an unprecedented year and the pandemic is still affecting our business," Roelant de Waard, Ford of Europe's vice president of marketing, sales and service, said in a statement. "Puma and Kuga are leading the charge on our SUV growth, and now our electrification plan is accelerating with the launch of the award-winning Mustang Mach-E that combines emotion with advanced all-electric technology.”

In the fourth quarter, Ford of Europe sales were down 15% from the same quarter the previous year. The automaker's performance came in below the industry, which was down 7.2% for the quarter.

For the year and for the quarter, sales were down in all five of Ford's largest markets in the region, which are Germany, italy, France and Spain and the United Kingdom.

Ford is in the midst of an $11 billion global restructuring plan under which it has slashed thousands of jobs in Europe, idled numerous plants and changed up its lineup in the region in a bid to turn around an unprofitable business. 

The sales results come days after the automaker reported a 6.1% annual growth in sales in China, the world's largest market. Ford, which historically has struggled to gain traction in China but is seeing improvements thanks to a refreshed portfolio, reported 602,627 vehicle sales there in 2020.

The Blue Oval's sales in the U.S. were down 15.6% for the year.

Twitter: @JGrzelewski