Ford to introduce new models in China to catch GM, VW and Toyota

Article by Christian A., on May 16, 2012

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.

Ford announced the production version of its all-new Ford EcoSport as well as its plans to build it in China, in addition to Thailand, India, and South America.

This compact and fuel-efficient urban SUV’s global debut at the Auto China 2012 in Beijing means that Chinese customers can choose an aspirational SUV alternative to a small vehicle. Ford EcoSport boasts a confident stance, robust character, agility, maneuverability, high driving position, and fuel efficiency with compact footprint. It is the perfect city transportation solution as it is ready for work and for play.

What’s more, the EcoSport is full of craftsmanship, cool features, and smart technologies, all contained in a contemporary design that is aerodynamically sharpened for fuel economy.

With several powertrain solutions, which include the carmaker’s newest and most advanced 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine, the EcoSport has been designed as a benchmark when it comes to fuel efficiency. The SUV also offers Ford’s SYNC driver connect system plus voice control, as well as many other new and innovative features in a comfortable and spacious interior that highlights new levels of craftsmanship and excellent refinement and quietness.

According to Ford Asia-Pacific and Africa’s presidentJoe Hinrichs, the EcoSport reflects the company’s commitment to serve its customers in China as well as the world over with the vehicles, utilities and trucks that they want and value. The EcoSport delivers exceptional quality, superior safety, smart design with SYNC, and great fuel efficiency with its 1-liter EcoBoost engine, he adds.

Topics: ford, china, gm, vw, toyota

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