Opel and Ford were brands that invested heavily in Germany and both sold well there. For many years they were second and third best selling brands behind VW. Occasionally Mercedes got past Ford into third but would fall back again. In the UK Ford always outsold Vauxhall (Opel) but in Germany, it was the other way around.
The chart immediately below shows market share and goes up to 20%. The graph covers from 1977 to 1999 and Opel (red) was consistently in the ascendency compared to Ford (blue). What you can't see below is that Mercedes passed Ford again in 1998 and apart from one lapse in 2009, stayed ahead of Ford until today.
In fact, we can see that toward the end of the graph both Opel and Ford were declining in market share in the country which raises the question as to whether that slide was to be arrested.
Below we see from 2000 to 2021 on a larger scale of 12% share so don't compare the two graphs by physical size but by the percentage numbers on the sides.
Ford leveled off from 2000 and held its share consistently. Opel's decline continued to 2012 when there was a slight uplift. By 2012 they had both been pushed back by Mercedes, BMW and Audi to fifth and sixth. Apart from a brief moment for Ford in 2019, neither have since matched the three marques that had passed them.
Ford overtook Opel in 2017 and in that same year, Opel was acquired by PSA. Ford then had a mini surge to 2019 then suddenly a change of policy has sent Ford plunging to seventh place by 2021. Opel was seventh in 2020 but is back up to fifth for 2021 in a possible revival of fortunes.
So what do we learn from all of this? That mainstream manufacturers in have a lot of competition and they have to carefully guard their reputation by offering a strong, consistent product range.
Opel lost its reputation as a top notch mainstream brand and ended up chasing volume to keep factories busy, but in the process became unprofitable. PSA is working hard to turn that around, focusing on product. That is showing signs of success but it's not a quick fix.
Ford has done better in regard to maintaining a competitive range but is now following a global strategy of moving away from passenger cars, which will impact on the number of units sold. It needs a strong SUV / crossover range if that is all its passenger car range will be comprised of.
|Much is resting on models such as this for Ford|