Ford Marks Five Years Of Strong Growth In Expanding China Market
* Sales of Ford brand vehicles, both imported and locally produced, up 121 percent year-over-year in Q1 of 2006; well ahead of industry growth of 54 percent.
* Expanding distribution network continues to grow on average of one new dealership each week.
* In Q1 of 2006, Changan Ford Mazda was among the fastest growing car companies in China.
SHANGHAI, May 1, 2006 - Changan Ford Mazda Automobile Co., Ltd., a Ford Motor Company joint venture in China, celebrated its fifth anniversary this past week with an offline ceremony at its Chongqing assembly plant for its 150,000th vehicle—a silver four-door Ford Focus. Production at the site started in January 2003.
Ford Motor Company and its partners have made good progress in China since production began at the Changan Ford Mazda Chongqing assembly plant. The plant has grown ten fold from its initial annual capacity of 20,000 units to the current capacity of 200,000 units. And the partnership has grown as well: what was a two-way joint venture between Ford Motor Company and Changan Automotive Group—Changan Ford—has grown to a three-way joint venture that includes Hiroshima-based Mazda Motor Corporations. The three-way partnership has since been renamed Changan Ford Mazda Automobile Co., Ltd (CFMA).
“As the major driving force of Ford Motor Company’s China operations, Changan Ford Mazda’s achievements reflect Ford’s remarkable business growth in China,”said Mei W ei Cheng, Chairman and CEO of Ford Motor (China) Ltd., “Our goal is to become, together with our partners, one of the top three auto makers in the Chinese market.”
The Changan Ford Mazda partnership will have additional production capacity by 2007, with the completion of its new vehicle assembly plant in Nanjing, in the costal Jiangsu Province. The Nanjing assembly operation will have i nitial capacity of 160,000 units annually. In addition to the 200,000 unit capacity in Chongqing , the c ombined total annual production capacity for CFMA will be 360,000 units. Further, the CFMA site in Nanjing is adjacent to a new engine manufacturing joint venture of the same three partners that will have an annual capacity of 350,000 engines.
The CFMA assembly sites will support production of not only Ford-branded products, but Mazda and Volvo as well. CFMA has confirmed plans to produce the Mazda3 and the Volvo S40 in Chongqing. Additionally, CFMA has confirmed its intention of producing both Mazda- and Ford-branded products at the new site in Nanjing.
Ford Brand Gaining Market Share in China
Fueled by increased production capacity and new products—most notably the new, locally-produced Ford Focus—sales continue to be strong for the Ford brand in China. In the first quarter of 2006, Ford brand vehicles , both imported and locally produced , achieved sale s of 33,511 units , up 121 percent year-on-year and well ahead of industry growth of 54 percent. In the first quarter, Changan Ford Mazda was among the fastest growing car companies in China.
Sales of the Ford Transit commercial vehicle reached 5,640 units in the first quarter of 2006 , up 56 percent and well ahead of the commercial segment’s growth of 6 percent. Presently, Ford owns a 30 percent share of Jiangling Motors Corporation Ltd., which produces the Transit and other commercial products.
In addition to the success of the Ford brand in China, Volvo, Land Rover and Jaguar—all brands of Ford Motor Company’s Premier Automotive Group ( PAG)—have also enjoyed strong growth in the country’s premium car market. For the first quarter, the combined sales of the PAG brands were up 143 percent over the same period last year.
“The outstanding performance in Ford Motor Company’s business growth demonstrated strength of the ”enterprise“approach we have adopted in China to expand our business presence,”said Cheng, “we are leveraging the strengths and best practices among our multiple partners, brands, skill bases, and locations.”
In 2005, Ford Motor Company’s affiliated brands—Ford, Lincoln, Mazda, Volvo, Land Rover and Jaguar—sold over 220,000 units in China, approximately 4 per cent of the country’s total car sales.
An Expanding, Growing Enterprise
To support the aggressive growth target, the company is rapidly expanding its distribution network. On top of its 160 authorized Ford brand dealers currently in business, Ford brand is adding on average one new dealer each week. It is expected that the sales network will have 200 appointed dealers by the end of 2006.
These new dealers are supported by Ford Automotive Finance ( China) Ltd. (FAFC), the China arm of Ford Credit, which started operations in China in July of 2005. To date, FAFC has provided wholesale financing to more than 60 Ford dealers across the country, with a credit line of $100 million.
Retail financing has already been introduced by FAFC to customers in Beijing , Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Nanjing, Wuhan, Suzhou, Wuxi, Changzhou city, and will be expanded to Tianjin and Qingdao in the very near future.
“I have full confidence that with all the support Ford Motor Company gives to our China operations, and all the new and exciting products to be launched in the upcoming years,”added Cheng , “We will be able to provide Chinese customers with highest quality and very attractive vehicles they are looking for, and be able to achieve the aggressive sales goals we set for ourselves.”
About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures and distributes automobiles in 200 markets across six continents. With about 300,000 employees and 108 plants worldwide, the company’s core and affiliated automotive brands include Aston Martin, Ford, Jaguar, Land Rover, Lincoln, Mazda, Mercury and Volvo. Its automotive-related services include Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford’s products, please visit www.ford.com.
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