Ford, the second largest US automaker, has retained a “bullish on China” attitude even as the sales have turned negative over the past two months, according to the automaker’s chief of global purchasing.
China this week just started the devaluation of its currency, stirring up even greater concerns among investors about the prospects of automakers implicated in the world’s largest auto market. Additionally, since the start of the year the country’s economy has been forecasted to run at its slowest pace in more than two decades and mid-June the stock market rout has left consumers with even less money to spend. “Longer term, we’re still very bullish on China,” comments Hau Thai-Tang, head of global purchasing for Ford. He made the comments during an auto industry conference in New York, with the executive adding the company has made modifications to adjust its forecast to the envisioned smaller deliveries even before the recent negative trends. In the smaller eventuality that a “prolonged period of recessions” hits China, the carmaker is also prepared to balance production with sales, though “we don’t see anything like that at this point.”
Hau Thai-Tang refrained from commenting the recent devaluation of the Chinese currency and added the US automaker was increasing its dealership network in China to tap the western Tier 3 through Tier 6 cities – with growth there expected to overshadow the lost steam in the bigger coastal cities. Through July, Chinese auto sales were modestly up by 0.4 percent to 13.35 million, while the United States – the second largest auto market – surged 4.5 percent to 10 million units.