Ford expects sales gain in China to outpace the industry in 2013

Article by Anita Panait, on June 28, 2013

Ford Motor Co. expects its sales growth in China to outgrow the auto industry in 2013 as customers seek to acquire new models. John Lawler, head of Ford in China, remarked that they don't see the growth rate "backing off" for the rest of 2013, as the carmaker's new models are getting "great reception" in the country.

Ford posted a 48-percent gain in sales in the first five months of 2013 in China on increasing demand for its Focus compact and EcoSport and Kuga sports utility vehicles. Ford's passenger-car sales in China have surged three times faster than the industry's in 2013.

To further its strong performance in China, Ford will launch the Mondeo mid-sized sedan in the country this year, according to Lawler. China's passenger-vehicle sales may soar 8.5 percent to around 16.8 million units in 2013, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.

Commercial-vehicle sales are expected recover from the 5.5-percent drop in 2012, posting a one-percent gain to around 3.85 million units.

According to said Edward Pleet, Ford's director of connected services for Asia Pacific, Africa and Europe, the carmaker will also introduce the Sync AppLink, a connectivity feature that allows drivers to use smartphone applications using just their voices -- in China in 2014.

Pleet remarked that Ford will collaborate with Chinese firms like Baidu Inc. and Sina Corp. to customize the mobile apps for consumers in the country.

Ford has designed the new Escape to deliver what customers typically expect -- versatility and cargo space – in a sports-inspired package.

Martin Smith, Design executive director of Europe, Asia Pacific and Africa, remarked that the sporty good looks of the Escape are intentional, noting that designers aimed to create an SUV that exudes the sensation of an athlete, with its movement and energy conveyed by its well-defined muscles.

As planned, the carmaker will sell the new SUV as the Ford Escape in North America and as the Ford Kuga badge in several markets around the world.

The design of the new Escape on the outright indicates that it is influenced by the philosophy of “function follows form.” Even with its sleek design, the latest iteration of the Escape offers more cargo room than its predecessor, with around with 68.1 cubic feet of space available behind the first row as well as 34.3 cubic feet behind the second row.

Interestingly, the seats of the new Ford Escape are now lighter than before and even offer more comfort and convenience. The seats – with a structure that is around three pounds lighter – boasts of a two-way power recline and two-way power lumbar support, complemented with the usual six-way adjustability.

Topics: ford, china, sales

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