Ford Motor, having a hard time to revive sales in China, on Tuesday revealed five new models for the world’s biggest auto market, part of a business revitalization effort concerning a plan to introduce more than 50 new or redesigned vehicles by 2025.
All five models are expected to enter showrooms in China in this year, stated a Ford spokesman. The company revealed the models at an event in Chongqing.
The five new models are sedan and hatchback versions of the revamped Focus car, sedan and hatchback versions of the sporty Focus ST-Line model, and the redesigned Escort car.
“These launches are a testament to Ford’s continued commitment to China’s critical midsize auto market,” stated Peter Fleet, group vice president and head of Ford’s Asia-Pacific operations.
Ford’s new sedans and hatchbacks are to enter a Chinese industry where customers have been clamoring for crossover sport-utility vehicles (SUVs), which together with multi-purpose vehicles including minivans now account for almost one half of China’s demand for passenger vehicles.
Market experts nevertheless think sedans are still crucial to automakers’ business in China.
“Compact sedans still represent 35 percent of total passenger vehicle sales. A good mainstream sedan is still very crucial to a automaker’s business in China,” stated Yale Zhang, head of Shanghai-based consultancy Automotive Foresight.
Zhang stated SUVs have been red-hot in China, but growth rates have decreased significantly in recent months to slightly over 10 percent a year.
Ford has been preparing for a new product blitz for some time as part of an effort to recover from a recent sales slump.
Ford sales dropped 6 percent in 2017 even as total vehicle sales in China rose 3 percent.