Earlier this week, Ford announced an audacious plan outlining the ways in which it will become more competitive in the burgeoning Chinese automotive market. The big idea boils down to either gaining market share and strengthening penetration in existing market segments and/or driving growth in segments where Ford currently does not compete. The Blue Oval plans to accomplish this by introducing 15 all-new fuel-efficient vehicles (some of which are pure-electric) as part of its One Ford plan, including but not limited to the Focus, Focus Electric, C-MAX Energi, Fusion Hybrid, Mondeo, and Kuga.
“The 15 new vehicles are part of Ford’s plans to introduce 50 new products and powertrains to the Asia Pacific and Africa region in the next four years,” explains Ford’s Joe Hinrichs, president of Ford Asia Pacific and Africa, as well as chairman and CEO of Ford China. “With the first of the 15 new vehicles being the all-new Ford Focus, we are also announcing today that the next-generation Ford Kuga will be built here in China.”
To ensure that its aggressive product plan pays off, Ford is also looking to increase the number of outlets carrying its products. As such, The Blue Oval’s strategy also calls for doubling its dealer count in China by the middle of the decade.
The Motrolix Take
This is a long time coming. There isn’t anything particularly new or revolutionary in this announcement — bringing new vehicles and allowing people to buy them at more locations is usually the first step towards increasing market share and/or market penetration. However, we’ve been long-time proponents of the idea that Ford could do better in China, especially given that General Motors is beating The Blue Oval left and right in the world’s largest auto market. Let’s hope this re-invigoration of efforts of sorts will result in Ford kicking The General in the same way it kicked it last month in the US of A. But let’s not go overboard here and offer the Mondeo and Fusion — two identically-sized vehicles — alongside each other in the same market.[expand]
Ford Announces Bold Growth Plan Ahead of 2011 Shanghai Auto Show
Ford plans to introduce 15 new vehicles in China by 2015, part of an initiative to gain market share in the world’s biggest automotive market. These products will strengthen Ford’s penetration in existing segments and drive growth in segments Ford is not competing in now
Next-generation Ford Kuga to be built and sold in China
Ford unveils latest new energy technologies in Asia for the first time at the 2011 Shanghai Auto Show including fuel-free, rechargeable plug-in hybrid and hybrid innovations
Asian reveal of a new concept vehicle – a sleeker, more stylish and sportier Ford SUV of the future featuring design cues and features to be incorporated in the next-generation SUV to be launched in China
Ford’s broad product lineup for the Shanghai show has something for everyone – 17 models will be on display, including the 2011 Mondeo, the first Ford nameplate in China equipped with Ford’s super-efficient, award-winning EcoBoost engine and the critically acclaimed, multi-award-winning Ford Edge SUV
More connected than ever: Ford’s industry-leading technologies, led by the new SYNC® with MyFord Touch™ driver connect technology will be demonstrated at interactive show booths
SHANGHAI, China, 19 Apr., 2011 – Today at the 2011 Shanghai Auto Show, Ford Motor Company and its partners announced a plan to introduce 15 new vehicles to China by the middle of the decade.
“We are proud and delighted today to announce our accelerated expansion plan for China that will see 15 all-new One Ford vehicles launched here by 2015,” said Joe Hinrichs, president, Ford Asia Pacific and Africa, and chairman and CEO, Ford China.
“This plan reinforces our commitment to offer a full range of vehicles to new car buyers in China, the world’s biggest and most exciting auto market. The new nameplates will significantly strengthen Ford’s penetration in existing segments and drive new growth in others,” Hinrichs explained.
“The 15 new vehicles are part of Ford’s plans to introduce 50 new products and powertrains to the Asia Pacific and Africa region in the next four years,” Hinrichs added. “With the first of the 15 new vehicles being the all-new Ford Focus, we are also announcing today that the next-generation Ford Kuga will be built here in China.”
Along with the introduction of new vehicles, Ford plans to more than double its dealership outlets in China by mid decade.
Ford shares its vision for a bright, smart and green future
The Ford brand stands for high-quality, green, safe and smart products. These qualities will be on display at the 2011 Shanghai Auto Show when Ford unveils its latest new energy technologies in Asia for the first time.
Designed to give Asian drivers real fuel-saving alternatives in the future, the technologies will be showcased in the all-new Focus Electric, Ford’s first fully electric-powered passenger car; Ford C-MAX Energi, the company’s first plug-in hybrid electric vehicle; and the new Ford Fusion Hybrid. This trio of vehicles brilliantly illustrates the trend-setting technologies Ford is developing to transform its product range for a high-tech, fuel efficient future.
“The Shanghai Auto Show is a terrific platform to showcase Ford’s latest products and technologies to our dealers and wonderful customers, and this year, we will unveil the types of energy efficient vehicles and technologies that Ford has planned for the future,” said Hinrichs.
More Ford innovation and leading edge design will be seen in the Ford Vertrek concept on display, which represents Ford’s futuristic vision of a sleek, sporty and stylish compact SUV.
“With China’s SUV market in rapid growth mode, we are excited and thrilled to bring the Vertrek concept to Shanghai in 2011. We expect it will attract many show visitors, auto bloggers and reporters alike because many of its state-of-the-art design cues will be incorporated in Ford’s next-generation SUV that will be built and launched in China,” Hinrichs added.
With 17 models on display, Ford’s product lineup is one of the broadest the company has ever assembled, underscoring the importance of the Chinese auto market. Around 700,000 people are expected to attend the Shanghai Auto Show from April 21-28. With its range of new electric technologies, Ford is bringing the power of choice to Asian consumers.
Showcasing new Ford vehicles, technologies and ideas
Ford’s newest model to be introduced to the Chinese market, the 2011 Mondeo, is the first nameplate in China equipped with Ford’s fuel efficient, award-winning EcoBoost engine. EcoBoost delivers more power and torque with lower emissions.
The all-new Ford Edge SUV is expected to be another crowd-pleaser, appealing to the increasing number of SUV drivers in China. Since its January launch, the Edge, with its 3.5-litre V6 Ti-VCT engine, has won a series of automotive awards and is in high demand.
Also on the stand, making its debut in the new Blush colour, is the Fiesta Sport+. The sporty compact features new front and rear body skirts.
Well-established nameplates like the Ford Focus and S-Max will also be prominently featured at the Shanghai Auto Show. Ford will showcase its industry-leading technological features such as the exciting new SYNC® with MyFord Touch™, the latest in high-tech driver connectivity.
The Ford exhibition will introduce auto show visitors to an array of entertaining and educational interactive displays that highlight the high-quality, green, safe and smart character of the company’s products.
A 3D mini-theatre, a Fiesta rally driving simulator, a Driving Skills for Life video game and a Ford Edge in-car theatre are some of the dazzling exhibits that Ford has in store for the crowd at Shanghai.
Visitors to Ford’s 1,700 square-metre stand at the Shanghai New International Expo Centre’s Hall W2 will be issued a “Passport” that will be stamped after they experience each exhibit on display. Guests who have collected all the Ford stamps in their Passport will be eligible to win exciting prizes.[/expand]