Ford Playing CatchUp in China Sees Sales Jump 51 Percent NYTimes com — Volkswagen Lavida

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Ford, Playing Catch-Up in Sees Sales Jump 51

By JACLYN TROP October 9, 4:52 pm

Associated Press Burela, right, president of Ford Mazda Automobile, Minggang, the company’s executive president, presented the Ford at the Shanghai auto show in

Even as the Ford Motor has rebounded from the recession to the most profitable of the big three automakers, it has lagged in China, the biggest car market.

Now, may be changing. Ford said on that its sales in China 51 percent, to 647,849 vehicles, the first nine months of year compared with the period last year. accelerated in September, when sales rose 61 percent, to The gains have come in a car market that has cooled after years of robust

Although Ford acknowledged it has a long way to go, the company had been by a new product lineup that four small sport vehicles, the redesigned Focus and the Mondeo, China’s version of the sedan, which was introduced month.

Ford has been catch-up in China with and VW, but it has been strategic in its battle for market share,” Namrita a Shanghai-based senior analyst for IHS wrote in an e-mail. “Ford has its game on targeting high and high volume segments — and sedans.”

Ms. Chow said that one spot for Ford has been its a key part of its battle against the country’s best-selling automaker, for the top sedan. The Focus beat the VW in August for the first time, and in sales rose 11 percent to

Another bright spot, Ms. said, has been the Ford a midsize sport utility, was introduced this year and has had early sales.

For the Asia-Pacific as a whole, Ford said it had 947,555 passenger cars and vehicles, up 31 percent, during the nine months of the year.

safe to say, I think, we will be over a million next month,” David L. group vice president and of Ford Asia Pacific, reporters at a news conference at Ford’s headquarters in Dearborn,

The growth comes amid investment by Ford. As part of its billion investment in China, and its joint venture partners are four assembly plants and powertrain plants by 2015, what they had in 2011. also said it planned to its network of 400 passenger-car dealers and 15 vehicles over the next two

Mr. Schoch said that hoped to double its market in China to 5 percent this compared with the first of last year. Even if it that aggressive target, Ford will continue to lag whose shares are in double

General Motors, which has a 15 percent market share in expects to sell more three million vehicles, up 8 to 10 over last year. the market leader, could 3.2 million vehicles, up 2.8 percent last year.

Hyundai of South Korea is to sell 1.64 million up from 1.4 million last Nissan aims to sell million.

Ford has a better of catching up to Toyota or Honda, are expected to sell fewer one million vehicles in China year.

In July, Ford it recorded its highest pretax in the Asia-Pacific region of any quarter. all, the region’s second-quarter profit was $177 million, a $66 million loss in the similar a year ago.

The automaker’s conservative strategy pay off in the long run, especially its to focus on small and midsize vehicles and midsize sedans, Ms. said.

Ford projects the industry in China, which the world’s largest auto in 2009, will grow to 32 units by 2020, from million units now.

of the two billion potential buyers by 2020 will come smaller cities in western not in the more developed eastern

Ford also plans to another fast-growing Chinese premium vehicles, with the of the Lincoln brand in the last of 2014. The automaker has selected a dozen dealers so far.

“We that the Lincoln brand has recognition in China,” Mr. Schoch “We’re going to hit the premium very, very well.”

A version of this article in print on 10/13/2013, on page AU4 of the edition with the headline: Sales in China Jump 51

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