Ford Motor Asia declared that automakers have entered a race to attract budget-conscious Chinese consumers, as the industry begins to expand beyond the wealthy coastal cities in the east.
To attract the price-sensitive consumers from the central and western China, automakers offer them vehicles within the same size segment at different prices.
“The growth expected the rest of this decade in China is largely to come from the central and western parts of the country which is more value-oriented,” declared Joe Hinrichs, Ford Motor Co’s Asia chief.
Ford already began its plan to introduce 15 new model in the country by 2015. Last month the company launched the new Focus, to be sold at a price below the Fiesta, which is considered the cheapest model in Asia, with prices between US$12,300 (S$15,300) and US$17,500. Last month Ford sales in China were up 24% to 54,881 vehicles, due to a strong demand for the Focus model.
Ford, together with Chongqing Automobile Co Ltd and Japan’s Mazda Motor Corp, produces the Fiesta, Focus, Mondeo and other vehicles in China. Ford wants to unwind Changan Ford Mazda Automotive Ltd. and waits for approval from the Chinese officials. This move could create a 50-50 new venture with Chongqing.