Ford Motor Co. posted a 49-percent surge in sales China in 2013 to 935,813 units. This allowed Ford to overtake Toyota Motor Corp. as the fifth-largest foreign carmaker in China. Toyota, on the other hand, sold 917,500 vehicles in China for a 9.2 percent rise. This marks the first time that Ford outsold Toyota in China.
The carmaker is also catching up with General Motors Co. and Volkswagen AG despite starting late in the country. Helping Ford outpace any major rival carmaker in China is the strong demand for the Ford Focus. Ford also benefited from the popularity of new locally built models like Kuga and EcoSport SUVs and the Fusion, which is known as Mondeo in China.
The US carmaker is also spending around $4.9 billion to double its manufacturing capacity in the country. "Ford was a latecomer, but they've really made an effort to diversify their portfolio," Klaus Paur, global head of automotive coverage at market researcher Ipsos, told Bloomberg.
He noted that for this year, Ford will solidify its position since it likely has a “good strategy and good portfolio." In the first 11 months of 2013, Volkswagen outsold all other foreign carmakers in China. Behind VW were General Motors, Nissan Motor Co. and Hyundai Motor Co., according to figures reported by the carmakers. GM had been leading sales among foreign carmakers in China for eight straight years.
Toyota managed to post a rebound in sales after customer backlash in 2012, thereby logging record figures in 2013. To win back customers in China, Toyota brought in new versions of the Vios, Yaris L and Reiz compact cars and the RAV4 crossover. Honda, meanwhile, logged a 26-percent surge in sales to a record 756,882 vehicles in 2013.