Sales of Ford Motor Co.’s models in China decline for the third year in a row by 26.1%, less than half of what the car giant sold in 2016, and they could get even worse in 2020, said the company.
Its manufacturing numbers are down as well as the company produced 146,473 vehicles in China in the fourth quarter, which is 14.7% less than in the same time period last year.
The company sold a total of 567,854 vehicles in 2019.
Ford’s business in China started declining in late 2017, and the company has been trying to recover since then. Sales plunged 37% in 2018, following a 6% drop in 2019.
While 2019 was certainly a “challenging” year for the company, the market share in the high-to-premium segment has consolidated and its sales in the value segment started to recover in the second half of the year, said President and CEO of Ford China, Anning Chen.
“The pressure from the external environment and downward trend of the industry volume will continue in 2020, and we will put more efforts into strengthening our product lineup with more customer-centric products and customer experiences to mitigate the external pressure and improve dealers’ profitability,”said Chen.
Ford has recently announced its plan to roll out over 30 new models in China over the next three years, out of which 10 will be electric vehicles. The US carmaker also stated it plans to hire more Chinese staff, for the purpose of consolidating relationships with joint venture partners.
Among models that were launched in the fourth quarter, the new Ford Escape performed better than any other model in terms of received orders, while the Lincoln Corsair is the first localized Lincoln car in China.
“They managed to stop the bleeding and increase average selling price,” Bill Russo, head of Shanghai consultancy Automobility Ltd said when asked about Ford’s 2019 sales results.
“Good sign, but they need to do more to localize their business model to address the growth in non-hardware related mobility and digital services if they are to recapture growth.”
The car market in China is expected to decline by 2% in 2020, for the third year in a row, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) predictions.