From China’s cities, Ford now turns its focus on the rural market

Article by Christian Andrei, on February 5, 2011

After being able to penetrate the metropolitan cities along the coast of China, Ford now wants to focus on the rural market. European design boss Martin Smith said that its marketing people told them that there is a demand for an affordable family saloon.

Smith explained that the Focus is expected to be “very popular” in the cities. Ford’s decision to come up with a concept, the Ka-sized Start, for the 2010 Beijing motor show, is proof of how serious it is about the Chinese market.

Ford aims to take advantage of the global reach of the new C platform to provide the economies of scale to expand its work in the developing markets. Presently, the platform accounts for 85% of shared components worldwide.

There is a mechanical variation in features that’s due almost entirely to local legislation as well as the need to comply with US crash legislation and EU pedestrian impact regulations. Ford executives however realize that there are numerous other ways to cut costs with regards to the design but without compromising safety.

As an example, Smith cited that the car can be fitted with single-piece headlights and tail lights and the glass panels in the side can be reduced from three to two.

Ford recognizes the Chinese market’s sensitivity to size and so it’s likely that Ford ruled out using the Fiesta platform due to its smaller proportions.

Ford makes this decision despite having considerable success with the Ford Figo, India’s 2011 Car of the Year, which is based on the previous model Fiesta with a new nose and tail. [via AutoGuide]

Topics: ford, china

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