As Ford Motor fast tracks the launching of its new models, it is also planning to more than double its model offerings in China, the biggest market in the world.
A Reuters report quoted Will Periam, strategy director for Ford's Asia Pacific and Africa operations, to have said that Ford competes in around 22% of the market, which is categorized in segments including small cars, medium cars, large cars, SUVs, and performance vehicles.
Periam was interviewed at the sidelines of an industry forum located in Tianjin. He said that Ford has set a target to someday compete in about 50% of that market.
To accomplish this goal, it will release new products as well as new versions of its existing products. He revealed that majority of these new models will be built at Ford's manufacturing plant in China such as the new Focus sedan and a small SUV named Kuga. In 2010, China’s auto sales surged with a total of 18 million units.
However, the sales trend is now more subdued after tax incentives for small car sales and subsidies for van buyers in rural areas were terminated.
According to Dong Yang, the secretary general of China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, he has lowered his prediction for the sales growth in 2011 from 10-15% to 5%.
Periam forecasts that by 2020, vehicle sales will hit 32 million units. Presently, Ford produces the Focus, Mondeo, X-Max and Fiesta models with Chongqing Changan Automobile Co. and Mazda Motor in a three-party tie-up. Ford’s Transit van model is being built at Jiangling Motors, 30% of which is owned by Ford.