Ford is prepared to get “genuinely serious” about China," according to Michael Dunne, the president of Hong Kong-based researcher Dunne & Co. There can be no other conclusion as Ford has announced that it will use up $4.9 billion to construct eight plants and offer 15 new models in China by 2015. General Motors Co. is the biggest foreign automaker in China.
In fact, the Buick Excelle is the top-selling car in China. Meanwhile, the Ford brand only holds about 2% of China's passenger-car market. Researcher LMC Automotive said that Ford was outsold by GM's Buick and Chevrolet brands 5-to-1 this year. Dunne added that for Ford to succeed, it has to emotionally connect with Chinese consumers, just like what GM’s brands have accomplished.
In the first quarter of 2012, Ford’s sales in China fell by 14%. But GM and Volkswagen AG gained more sales even as the Chinese market is slowing down. Last June, CEO Alan Mulally set a goal to get a third of Ford's sales from Asia by 2020. But in 2011, Ford reported $92 million in losses in the region, as the flooding in Thailand disrupted production. For the first quarter of the year, Ford posted a loss of $95 million in Asia.