It's not really a bad problem to have.
Ford’s Lincoln brand of luxury vehicles has been going from strength to strength in not only North America, but the Persian Gulf as well. Demand continues to remain high in the US, following a production shortage earlier this year. The company’s Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) director Sarah Rae said in an interview with the Arabian Business publication that Lincoln sales were up approximately 20 percent across the GCC, while sales of the flagship Navigator SUV had tripled.
The GCC is made up of seven countries including Qatar, the UAE, and Bahrain. Ford has been embarking on a sales revitalization program over there for the past five years and it is now starting to pay real dividends. One example? Lincoln Navigators have sold out in the Gulf.
Rae said that “Globally people’s preferences have changed. Where 20 years ago you would have had either cars or trucks, the SUV has blurred the lines, and consumers are showing us that’s what they want”. And they want a lot of Lincoln Navigators, the total sales in June of this year eclipsed the entire sales figure for all of 2017.
Making this result even more impressive is the fact that the GCC has been experiencing a particularly slow uptake of luxury vehicle sales this year.
The short-term implications however are that potential customers in the Gulf states will have to remain patient while stock levels are replenished. “We’re all sold out with the Navigator,” said Rae. “You’d see even more of them on the roads, but the fact is that strong demand has created global supply challenges for us.”
The global move towards crossovers and SUVs shows no signs of slowing down and Ford is acutely aware of this, having cut down their sedan range in the States to focus their resources on SUVs. It looks as if they couldn’t have made the move soon enough.