Ford Motor Co. will have to stretch itself into multiple price points (up and down) in order to catch up in the Chinese market. Joe Hinrichs, president of Ford Asia Pacific and Africa, said that the company is “very focused” on developing the Ford brand and on establishing its models into various segments. Ford, which has to catch up to competitors like General Motors, Volkswagen AG and Toyota Motor Corp. in China, has recently presented the redesigned Focus into China's fiercely competitive C segment, the largest segment in China.
Hinrichs predicts that by 2015, the C segment will make up for 5 million units of China's 18.5 million market by 2015.
This segment is bigger than entire car markets in numerous countries. It is divided into subsegments influenced heavily by price, namely: C Low, C Medium and C High.
The Focus has a price tag of about $19,000, is in C High. He said that since a single Focus can’t be offered for 5 million potential customers, Ford would likely need to develop various C-segment models. Several of them would not use the Focus name, Hinrichs informed reporters last week at Ford World Headquarters in Dearborn.
He didn’t say if several of these Focus derivatives may be available in North America. He said that for the Chinese market, the C cars include the Sagitar, the Bora, the Santana and Jetta. We will have to wait and see whether Ford could gain ground in China against Volkswagen. Hinrichs thinks that majority of China’s growth for the next several years will take place in the less-developed western and central regions, where customers will look for entry-level models.