As Ford Motor Co. expands its dealer network in China, it expects that sales in the country will outpace growth in the Chinese car market this year, according to Ford’s local sales chief.
In a Reuters interview, Nigel Harris said that Ford will add 70 dealers, bringing the total to 310 by the end of 2010. In the first eight months of 2010, Ford and its joint ventures in China sold 42% more vehicles compared to the same period a year ago.
This exceeded the overall market, which increased by 39%. Before the start of an industry forum in the southwestern city of Chengdu, Harris said that Ford expects “to grow faster than the industry.”
Harris said that he shares the view of other industry executives that China's auto market will return to a slower but more rational growth pattern as early as this year.
China’s market has expanded tremendously the past years even while most parts of the world suffered under the economic downturn. But last May, the Chinese government has decided to slow down the economy to avoid overheating. [via autonews - sub. required]