Ford Experiences 26% Drop in China Sales for Third Consecutive Year

Ford Motor’s China automobile sales tanked for a third consecutive year, by 26.1%, as it battles a prolonged sales drop in its second-greatest marketplace that has hit demand for its mass-market Ford brand and sports utility vehicles (SUVs).

The U.S. auto manufacturer delivered 146,473 autos in China in the fourth quarter, down 14.7% annually, Ford mentioned in a statement. In total, it bought 567,854 automobiles over 2019.

Ford has been trying to recover sales in China after its business started slumping in late 2017. Sales tanked 37% in 2018, after a 6% decline in 2017.

Anning Chen, a president and CEO of Ford Greater China, stated that whereas 2019 was a “difficult” year for the automaker, it noticed its market share within the excessive-to-premium phase stabilize and its gross sales decline within the worth section begin to slender within the second-half of the yr.

The automaker plans to launch greater than 30 new fashions in China over the subsequent three years, of which over a 3rd can be electrical automobiles. It has additionally stated it will localize management groups by hiring more Chinese workers and aimed to enhance ties with joint venture companions.

Models introduced in the fourth quarter include a brand new Ford Escape version – for which the auto manufacturer stated orders received thus far have been much greater than anticipated – and the Lincoln Corsair, the first localized Lincoln model in China.

Bill Russo, chief of Shanghai consultancy Automobility, said Ford was dealing with a “perfect storm” of trends that were not favorable to multinational mass-market manufacturers. While the auto manufacturer was addressing the need to update its showrooms with new and refreshed models, this was taking the time.