Annual vehicle sales for Ford Motor Co. were recently announced to have dropped by 26.1% in China. This marks the third year in a row for Ford to have printed an annual sales decline in China. China is the second-largest market for Ford but the extended period of falling sales has hurt the demand for its sports utility vehicles and the mass-market Ford brand in the region.
According to the company itself, the fourth quarter saw 146,473 vehicles in total that were delivered to China. This marks a massive 14.7% decline year over year. Ford’s global sales were capped at 567,854 cars in 2019.
Ford’s Sales Originally Started To Decline In China In 2017
Ford’s sales originally started to decline in China in 2017 with an annual drop of 6%. In 2018. The company had recorded a much larger 37% decline. In the past 3 years, Ford has been focused on improving its sales figures in China.
Following an insight into the company’s sales figure for 2019. Ford’s Chief Executive and current President in China, commented that 2019 continued to be challenging for the car manufacturer. However, in the second half of the last year, the company noted a modest sales improvement in its value segment. The high to premium segment, on the other hand, was reported to have gained stability towards the end of 2019.
Ford also announced its plans of launching over 30 new models in China in the upcoming three years. More than a third of the new offerings are expected to be fully-electric vehicles. The company was also reported quoting that it will start to lean a little bit more towards hiring local staff for management in an attempt to improve business relationships with its joints venture partners in China including Jiangling Motors Corp and Chongqing Changan Automobile. Ford has also previously shown interest to partner with Zotye Automobile Co to enhance the production of budget cars.
Chinese Auto Market Is Expected To Contract By 2% In 2020
In Q4, Ford already released two new models in China; the Ford Escape and a domestically produced Lincoln Corsair. Orders for the new version of Ford Escape, as per the automaker, have so far been significantly better than expected.
As per the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, 2020 is likely to see a 2% contraction in the country’s auto market owing to the ongoing trade negotiations with the U.S and the consequent weaker economy.