PEKING (Reuters) – US auto maker Ford Motor Co ( FN ) unveiled a new sport utility vehicle (SUV) in China on Tuesday and announced it would launch a new model series Sales in the world's best car market from the beginning of next year.
FILE PHOTO: The Chinese national flag flies on October 1
Ford is struggling to recover from a severe slump in China, starting early next year with the sale of the entry-level SUV, called "Territory". The car is being developed jointly with local partner Jiangling Motors Corp. Ltd (JMC) ( 000550.SZ ).
The car, based on a JMC no-frills model, aims to attract consumers to China's smaller, so-called "lower-tier" locations, which have been a major driver of growth in the last decade Market were. It would compete with models from local companies such as Geely ( 0175.HK ) and Great Wall Motor ( 601633.SS ).
The SUV is among the 50 new or redesigned vehicles that Ford intends to introduce this year and by 2025 in China. This includes the redesigned Ford Focus car, which will come on the market later in 2018.
"All of these vehicles – the Ford Territory, Ford Focus and Ford Escort … will all start to make their volume retail contributions in the first quarter (from 2019)," said Peter Fleet, Ford's China and Asia chief , Reporters on a call.
After all, the new SUV from Ford comes on the market, as the demand for such cars in smaller cities throughout China wears off. China's car sales fell the most in September after economic growth slowed.
Ford's vehicle sales fell 43 percent year-on-year in September, declining 30 percent year-on-year in the first nine months of last year. Ford blames the weak China business for an aging range of models waiting to be revised.
Fleet, speaking from the Chinese port city of Qingdao, where he was demonstrating the new SUV for the first time, worried about slowing growth in the small cities and said Ford's 650 local dealers would make the model a success ,
"It's still a huge industry, of course, and with Ford's relatively low market share, it still offers Ford a tremendous opportunity," he said.
He added that the company currently sees no impact from a fierce trade war between China and the United States in which some imported Ford and Lincoln cars were stopped in Chinese ports early in the year.
"We had a slowdown earlier in the year that has been reported and we do not currently have any of these customs clearance issues."
Reporting by Norihiko Shirouzu and Yilei Sun; Editing by Adam Jourdan and Christopher Cushing