Ford has a cult following in Europe, and its superfans take their love for the brand to the next level

Peter Dench/Getty ImagesSome Europeans have a strong love for Ford — perhaps stronger than Americans’.
  • Ford has a lot of love for Europe, and the feeling is mutual.
  • Ford fan clubs, blogs, and memorabilia collections are popular in Europe.
  • Some megafans have even gone so far as to tattoo the brand onto their bodies.
  • One Ford superfan told Business Insider that riding in a Mustang for the first time as a child made him feel “like a rockstar.”
  • Meet some of Ford’s megafans and see how the love affair has blossomed.
  • Visit BusinessInsider.com for more stories.


Some Europeans just can’t get enough of Ford.

Peter Dench/Getty ImagesA European posing with his Ford memorabilia collection.

Source:

MSN


Ford’s devoted global fan base has grown over recent years.

Peter Dench/Getty ImagesA Ford fan showing off his Mustang and matching jacket.

Source:

MSN


Jaron Cole, the founder of Mustang Fan Club, told Business Insider that owning a Ford car overseas is something special.

Peter Dench/Getty ImagesOwning a Ford in Europe is special.

Source: Jaron Cole/

Mustang Fan Club


Europeans admire an American-made car because it’s something they’re not used to having, Cole told Business Insider.

Peter Dench/Getty ImagesA Ford fan in Europe next to some of his memorabilia.

Source: Jaron Cole/

Mustang Fan Club


Fans show their love for Ford in a number of ways. Everything from European fan clubs to online Ford blogs exists.

Peter Dench/Getty ImagesA fan’s Ford memorabilia collection.

Source:

MSN


There are European fans who collect old Ford models, have extensive memorabilia collections, and some who own just about anything Ford related…

Peter Dench/Getty Images

Source:

Wall Street Journal


…and then there are others who even included their Ford collection in their wedding photos.

Peter Dench/Getty ImagesA Ford fan who posed next to his Ford on his wedding day.

Source: Getty Images


There are some individuals in Europe who even have the car permanently branded on them.

Peter Dench/Getty ImagesEuropeans have a strong love for Ford.

Source: Getty Images


Fabrizio Schenardi is one of these Ford megafans who lives in Italy.

Peter Dench/Getty ImagesFabrizio showing off his Mustang tattoo to some of his friends in Italy.

Source: Fabrizio
Schenardi


Schenardi told Business Insider that he was first exposed to Ford cars when he was eight years old. There was a small auto shop in his hometown village in Italy that worked on American cars.

Fabrizio SchenardiFabrizio as a young boy with his father in front of a Ford.

Source: Fabrizio
Schenardi


After riding in a Mustang for the first time as a child, he was instantly hooked. “I felt like a rockstar,” Schenardi said about the experience.

Fabrizio SchenardiFabrizio posing next to his first Mustang.

Source: Fabrizio
Schenardi


Schenardi saved up enough money to finally purchase his first Mustang in 2006.

Fabrizio SchenardiA more recent photo of Fabrizio with his Mustang.

Source: Fabrizio
Schenardi


That same day, Schenardi got a Mustang tattoo to commemorate his big purchase.

Fabrizio SchenardiFabrizio needed to get a tattoo to honour the first one he purchased.

Source: Fabrizio
Schenardi


Schenardi eventually became the first European car blogger, writing strictly about Mustang cars.

Fabrizio SchenardiFabrizio showing his love for his favourite car brand.

Source: Fabrizio
Schenardi


As big as Ford’s fan base is now, that wasn’t always the case for Ford and its European market.

Peter Dench/Getty ImagesA European fan showing off his Ford collection.

Source:

The New York Times


Ford of Europe wasn’t established until 1967.

John Keeble/Getty ImagesFord didn’t see much success in Europe until later.

Source:

Bloomberg


The American car brand had a difficult time attracting European customers and competing with other car brands.

Sean Gallup/Getty ImagesFord didn’t always have much success with their European market.

Source:

Bloomberg


But today in Europe Ford is an in-demand car brand.

Peter Dench/Getty ImagesFord’s international presence has certainly grown over the years.

Source:

Ford


Ford fanatics overseas often prefer to purchase their cars from America, rather than their local dealerships.

Peter Dench/Getty Images

Source:

U.S. News


Cole said that it’s challenging to purchase a Ford car through another country.

Peter Dench/Getty ImagesA Ford fan in Europe.

Source: Jaron Cole/

Mustang Fan Club


Certain European countries have regulations, fees, and taxes.

Carl Court/Getty ImagesA row of Ford cars getting ready to be shipped.

Source: Jaron Cole/

Mustang Fan Club


But many European Ford fans would rather pay import and transportation fees to transfer the Ford car from America, Cole told Business Insider.

Carl Court/Getty ImagesFord cars getting ready to be shipped overseas.

Source: Jaron Cole/

Mustang Fan Club


It will still be cheaper than all the fees and such that the European countries would charge them, he said.

Jeff Kowalsky/Getty ImagesInside of a Ford factory.

Source: Jaron Cole/

Mustang Fan Club


Unsurprisingly, the car brand recently unveiled plans to cut six of its 23 European factories and anticipates more than tripling its yearly passenger vehicle imports into Europe by 2024.

Picture Alliance/Getty ImagesA factory in Europe that might potentially close.

Source: Wall Street Journal, Automotive Logistics


Out of all of Ford’s car models, motorhomes are a hot commodity in Europe.

Peter Dench/Getty ImagesA European Ford enthusiast in his motorhome.

Source: News Atlas


According to Ford, its motorhome sales in Europe are up almost 15% compared to previous years, and sales have surpassed 100,000 units for the first time.

Peter Dench/Getty ImagesMotorhomes sales are high in Europe.

Source:

Ford, The News Wheel


More recently, self-employment is on the rise in Europe…

FordTransit vans are popular throughout Europe.

Source:

Ford,


The News Wheel


…and Ford’s Transit vans have become the backbone of business there.

FordFord’s Transit vans are often used in Europe.

Source:

Ford, The News Wheel


Ford recently converted its transit cargo van into a tiny home that’s only available in Europe.

FordFord’s latest campervan, the Big Nugget.

Source: Business Insider


This is the fourth motorhome that Ford has released just for its European fans.

FordFord has a line of Nugget motorhomes.

Source: Ford


When it was time for Ford to unveil its latest motorhome, there was no question that the brand was going to give the European market priority.

Peter Dench/Getty ImagesA Ford fan’s collection of motor homes memorabilia.

Source: Ford


In addition to motorhomes, the Ford Mustang’s popularity has been on the rise in several European countries.

John Keeble/Getty ImagesBoth old and new Mustangs are popular throughout Europe.

Source: Ford


To celebrate the Mustang’s 50th anniversary in late 2015, Ford released an updated version of the beloved car with a new design and engineering.

Steve Zak Photography/Getty ImagesFord released a special edition Mustang to celebrate the car’s 50th anniversary.

Source:

Bloomberg


Although US sales of the limited-edition Mustang eventually started to dip, Ford saw a major increase in foreign sales.

Eric Thayer/Getty ImagesFord’s limited-edition anniversary Mustang.

Source:

Bloomberg


Since 2016, one in four Mustangs is now owned by drivers in China, the UK, and Germany.

Peter Dench/Getty ImagesMustangs are super popular overseas right now.

Source:

Bloomberg


According to Bloomberg, Ford even sold 17 Mustangs in Bulgaria, one of the smaller countries in Europe.

Carl Court/Getty ImagesEmployees in Europe working on a Ford car.

Source:

Bloomberg


It might seem unexpected for a European to love an American car so much, but when it comes to Ford cars, “the price and performance is one of the best in the world,” Schenardi said.

Fabrizio SchenardiFabrizio happily with his Mustang in Italy.

Source: Fabrizio
Schenardi


After Ford’s campervan release to the European market and the global Mustang fascination, it seems Ford is paving the way for other American car brands’ international presence.

Peter Dench/Getty ImagesA Ford mini truck collection.

Source: Bloomberg, Ford, MSN

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