AP NEWS

Ford to bring 50 new vehicles to China by 2025

December 5, 2017

Ford Motor Co. will pump 50 new vehicles into China over the next eight years as the company tries to grow its share in the world’s largest market.

Executive Chairman Bill Ford and CEO Jim Hackett announced their plans in China on Tuesday. They include introducing eight new SUVs, and at least 15 electrified Ford and Lincoln vehicles, some of which will be built and sold exclusively in China.

The executives outlined the goals less than a month after Ford announced a $756 million Chinese joint venture with Chinese electric-vehicle giant Anhui Zotye Automobile Co. That partnership will launch a range of all-electric vehicles, according to a statement.

“China is not only the largest car market in the world, it’s also at the heart of electric vehicle and SUV growth and the mobility movement,” said Bill Ford in a statement. “The progress we have achieved in China is just the start. We now have a chance to expand our presence in China and deliver even more for customers, our partners and society.”

The company sold 938,570 vehicles in China through October of this year, a 5 percent increase over the same period a year ago driven in part by an 85 percent growth in Lincoln sales as the company introduced more luxury vehicles there.

By 2025, the company plans to offer more than 50 new Ford and Lincoln vehicles in China, emphasizing SUVs and the electric vehicles pushed by the Chinese government. That number includes both brand-new product launches and next-generation models of vehicles the company already sells in China. Ford will also assemble five more vehicles in China for the Chinese market starting in 2019. Those vehicles include a previously announced Lincoln SUV, and Ford’s first all-electric small SUV.

The company has teased plans for an electrified SUV for the U.S. market as well.

“Some of our most advanced manufacturing and innovation facilities are here in China,” Peter Fleet, group vice president and president, Ford Asia Pacific, said in a statement. “Producing more vehicles for China locally allows us to improve the benefits for our customers, our partners and our bottom line.”

Ford now has a test center in China, and has launched its Quick Lane service department there to improve the ownership experience.

As in the U.S., Ford also plans for 100 percent of new vehicles sold in China be connected through embedded modems of plug-in devices by 2019.

Another goal for Ford in China: improve revenue by 50 percent by 2025. The company made a $289 million profit there in the the third quarter 2017 on $3.7 billion.

Hackett and Fleet said the additional revenue will come by way of cost cuts and Hackett’s drive for financial fitness seen across all of Ford.

“All of the actions outlined today reflect an unprecedented commitment to focus on the needs of consumers in China through a more fit and streamlined Ford,” Fleet said in a statement. “They are proof of our dedication to grow our business in China.”

ithibodeau@detnews.com

Twitter: @Ian_Thibodeau