Ford Becomes Serious About China, Creates Stand-Alone Business 

Ford Territory SUV for the Chinese market 1 photo
Photo: Ford
Seeing that the Chinese automotive industry shows no signs of slowing down, American manufacturer Ford finally came to its senses and decided it’s time for a more serious approach when it comes to its business in the country.
For years Ford has been criticized for not having a sound strategy in what is today one of the largest markets on the planet. While other carmakers, especially German ones, have seen the countries potential long ago, Ford seemed to have been treating it like a second-hand market.

For years the carmaker has seen declining numbers in the country, the most recent being the over 30 percent drop reported for the second quarter of the year.

As of this week, Ford plans to change all that by making its Chinese division a stand-alone business unit, reporting directly to global headquarters, and with its own CEO, Anning Chen, “an experienced auto executive with a strong track record in China.”

“Success in China is critical as we reposition our global business for long-term success,” said in a statement Ford CEO Jim Hackett.

“With today’s actions, we are strengthening our commitment to the China market and reorganizing our international markets to strengthen their performance.”

Along with giving the local branch more independence, Ford also announced some steps it will be taking to be able to take the fight to the Germans.

A new International Markets business unit will be established, initially comprised of Ford’s existing Asia Pacific businesses outside of China. Other markets will be absorbed in the new entity at a later date.

Production wise, the number of locally-produced Ford and Lincoln cars is to increase, albeit it’s yet unclear when and by how much. Also, a local joint venture with Zotye will be in charge of manufacturing small electric vehicles for a car sharing service.

Research and development will be key in China for both engineering and AI, connectivity and digital marketing. For this tasks, the carmaker has already established some sort of understanding with Baidu and Alibaba.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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