Ford Motor revealed a new China sport utility vehicle (SUV) on Tuesday, and stated it looks forward to release a spate of new models will help turn around falling sales in the world’s top auto market from the start of 2019.
Ford, fighting to recover from a serious sales drop in China, will begin selling the entry-level SUV, named the “Territory”, early next year. The car is jointly developed with regional partner Jiangling Motors Corp.
The car, based on a no-frills model from JMC, is intended to appeal consumers in China’s smaller, so-called lower-tier towns, that have been a major engine of growth in the market during the last decade. It would rival with models from regional firms like Geely and Great Wall Motor.
The SUV is among the 50 new or redesigned vehicles Ford has said it prepares to release in China starting this year and through 2025, which consists the redesigned Ford Focus car due to hit showrooms later this year.
“All these vehicles – the Ford Territory, the Ford Focus and the Ford Escort… they will all start to make their volume retail contributions in the first quarter (of 2019)”, stated Peter Fleet, Ford’s China and Asia chief, while discussing reporters.
Even then, Ford’s new SUV hits the market at a time demand for such vehicles in smaller cities throughout China has started to cool. China’s car sales dropped the most in nearly seven years in September, hit by cooling economic growth.
Ford’s vehicle sales dropped 43 percent in September from a year earlier and are down 30 percent in the first nine months of this year from the same period last year.