The Chinese market has become the Achilles Heel for American automaker Ford Motor Company (F) which registered yet another decline in sales even after introducing new models. According to the company’s latest statements, it delivered 131,060 vehicles in its second-largest market in the period between July’19 to September’19 marking a 30% fall.
2019 is a bad year for Ford China
In the first quarter of the year, the company’s sales declined by 35.8% while in the second quarter, it fell by 21.7%. The mass-market Ford brand’s sales fell by 37.7% in the third quarter. It’s luxury car arm Lincoln experienced a decline of 24.1% in sales. In total, the company was able to deliver about 421,000 vehicles in the first nine months of 2019.
Ford Motor Company (F)’s problems in China began in 2017 when its sales experienced a 6% decline. In 2018, it decreased by 37%. Interestingly, e after the slump, the company is planning to launch over 30 new vehicles in China in the next three years, of which 10 will form its fleet of electric cars. It is also planning to work more closely with its joint venture partners and bring more local talent to its management team.
What is Ford’s China story?
Though the Michigan-based automaker has some grand plans for the Chinese market, their sales couldn’t bring cheer even after launching new car models in Q3 this year. It launched its electric car Territory, its SUV Edge and Focused in China but didn’t receive an overwhelming response.
The company makes its cars via two joint ventures- one with Jiangling Motors Corp Ltd. and another with Chongqing Changan Automobile Co. It is also planning a third JV to produce lower-priced vehicles with Zotye Automobile Co Ltd. However, talks with the company have been sluggish to date.
In August, the company tried to focus extensively on its primary local business- Changan Ford by naming a new president. It intends to double down on production, research, and marketing with Changan. Its local partner may also witness a revamp of its manufacturing plants where Ford wants to produce its premium brand Lincoln. Reuters suggests that Changan Ford’s third-quarter sales slumped by 33.5% in Q3 2019.
The Chinese market has also been harsh towards General Motors, which saw sales decline by 17.5% between July and September. German and Japanese carmakers are capturing a bigger portion of this market compared to their American counterparts.