Ford set to launch electric cars in China amid weak sales

Ford will launch 50 new cars in China - 15 of them electric cars - as it undergoes a review of its China operations

Adam Jourdan
Tuesday 05 December 2017 10:09
Ford will have to meet tough quotes in China
Ford will have to meet tough quotes in China

Ford will launch 50 new vehicles in China by 2025, including 15 electrified vehicles, the US firm said at an event in Shanghai on Tuesday, as it looks to rev up sales growth in the market and shift towards cleaner electric cars.

Ford’s sales in China have been weak in recent months, and the company is scrambling to come up with electric and hybrid vehicles to comply with strict Chinese quotas over production and sales for so-called new energy vehicles.

The US carmaker is undergoing a broad review of its China operations, part of a strategic re-think under new chief executive Jim Hackett, which will likely see the company focus on electric commercial vans as well as electric cars.

“Between now and 2025, we will launch 50 new vehicles in China, and of those 50 new vehicles, 15 of them will be all-new electrified vehicles,” said Peter Fleet, Ford’s head of Asia Pacific, pointing to big growth in the “utility” segment.

Fleet also said Ford’s China revenue would grow by 50 per cent over the same period.

China is pushing carmakers toward electric and hybrid petrol-electric vehicles, setting tough quotas for new electric vehicles that come into play in 2019, and has signalled a longer-term shift away from traditional internal combustion engine cars.

The major shift in the world’s largest car market has jolted some carmakers, sparking a spate of recent electric vehicle joint ventures in the market. Ford has announced an electric car tie-up with China’s Anhui Zotye Automobile.

“We’ve never seen change like we do today,” said Ford executive chairman Bill Ford. “Everything is being disrupted” by the development of autonomous vehicles, trends such as ride-sharing and electric vehicles, he added.

“It’s clearly the case that China will lead the world in electric vehicle development, and so we at Ford are investing enormous amounts of money both here in China and globally to bring electrification into fruition.”


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