Ford Targets 50% Sales Increase Over Next 4 Years

FordCEO Alan Mulally told investors on Tuesday, his company plans to increase sales by 50 percent over the next four years.

Gene J. Puskar

Ford is targeting annual global sales of 8 million vehicles by 2015. Last year, Ford sold 5.3 million cars, trucks, and SUVs around the world.

Mulally's growth plan hinges on a rapid expansion in Asia and Africa as well as increased sales of small cars.

By 2014, more than 140 percent of Ford's global product portfolio will be either new or significantly refreshed from its 2009 lineup, a Ford spokesman said in an email to Reuters wire services. The figure is more than 100 percent because some of the models will have been turned over at least twice in that five-year period, the spokesman said.

Ford last week announced that it would introduce the smallest engine in its history, a three-cylinder, within the next two years.

By the end of the decade, Ford expects 55 percent of the vehicles it sells around the world to be small cars.

China, India and the developing markets in Asia and Africa have long been areas where Ford has trailed competitors. The company only gets 15 percent of its global sales in those regions, but it is planning to double that figure to 30 percent by 2020.

Under Mulally, Ford has aggressively expanded in China and India. In India, the red-hot Figo compact car has been driving Ford sales at a record pace.

"Ford can achieve these targets if it succeeds in growing sales in China and India where it has historically been a laggard," said Michael Robinet, a consultant with IHS Global Insight.

China is already the world's largest auto market and India is expected to be the world's third largest by 2020.

Mulally took over as Ford CEO in 2006 and has turned the company around so that it has shown a profit for each of its last seven quarters. From 2006 to 2008, Ford lost $30 billion.