Jan 14, 2020 (China Knowledge) - Ford Motor Co’s China factories are battling an extended overall sales decline as vehicle sales dropped for the third consecutive year, by 26.1%, in its second-biggest market for mass-market Ford models and sports utility vehicles.
It delivered 146,473 vehicles in China in Q4, down 14.7% year-on-year and sold 567,854 vehicles last year. Ford has been trying to recover its China’s sales after its business began declining in late 2017. Sales sank 37% in 2018, after a 6% decline in 2017.
Anning Chen, president and chief executive of Ford Greater China, said that while 2019 was a “challenging” year for the automaker, market share in the high-to-premium category stabilized and its value segment‘s sales have started to pick up in the second half of last year.
It plans to launch more than 30 new models in China over the next three years of which over a third will be electric vehicles. Ford Motor also plans to hire more Chinese staff to localize management teams and aimed to improve relationships with joint venture partners.
Ford makes cars through a joint venture with Chongqing Changan Automobile Co Ltd and Jiangling Motors Corp Ltd in China. Future plans would involve partnering with Zotye Automobile Co Ltd to sell lower-priced cars.
Last week, General Motors, its main U.S. rival, said its sales in China declined 15% from a year earlier to 3.09 mln vehicles in 2019, its second consecutive year of decline.
The auto market in China is estimated to shrink by 2% in 2020, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) forecast, due to weaker demand and the ongoing trade dispute in the U.S.
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