Ford set to overtake Japan rivals as top seller in China
BEIJING: Ford Motor Co is poised to overtake its Japanese rivals on the top seller's list in China as Toyota Motor Corp and Honda Motor Co struggle to regain market share following a flare-up in anti-Japanese sentiment a year ago.
For much of the past decade, the Dearborn, Michigan-based carmaker has languished some way behind Japanese brands and South Korea's Hyundai Motor Co.
And it has lagged a long way behind General Motors Co and Volkswagen AG in China. That's mainly because of Ford's late foray into China and the subsequent, conservative approach it has taken in an auto market that became the world's biggest in 2009.
Ford is fighting to change that picture and appears likely to sell more vehicles in China this year than two of its main Japanese rivals - Toyota and Honda. Its China sales are also zooming close to those of Nissan Motor Co.
Ford is likely to sell more than 900,000 vehicles, including passenger cars and commercial vehicles, in China this year thanks to its beefed-up product lineup, said a company official who spoke on condition of anonymity. New in the showroom since last year are a couple of small sport-utility vehicles and the redesigned Focus car.
It has also just launched the redesigned Mondeo car, a China version of the car marketed in North America as the Fusion.
The American carmaker sold 647,849 vehicles during the first nine months of the year, up 51 per cent, Ford said yesterday.
"We should be able to sell more than 900,000 vehicles, possibly close to a million in China this year," the Ford official said. Reuters