Ford plans indigenous brands for Chinese market image

Ford Motor is in talks with local partners in China to introduce a sub-brand in the in the world’s biggest auto market.

Such a move would see Ford join other foreign carmakers in launching indigenous China-only brands, in part to comply with government rules that allow them to make cars on the mainland.

“We are always in discussions with our joint-venture partners,” David Schoch, chairman and CEO of Ford’s China operations, told Reuters in an interview in Taipei.

“All I can tell you is we are studying indigenous brands, but our total focus in terms of brand enhancement is really on the Ford brand.”

Ford does not disclose financial figures for China, but it is a significant part of the Asia Pacific Africa region that lost almost $100 million in the first quarter, largely due to aggressive spending to boost vehicle production.

The U.S. based automaker has said it will be profitable in the region for the full year, and forecast it will contribute about one-third of global vehicle sales by 2020, up from 15 percent today.
In April, Ford sales rose 24% from a year earlier to 54,881 units due to strong demand for the new Ford Focus.

From January to April, the auto maker’s sales in the country totaled 176,274 vehicles, down 5% from 184,906 units a year earlier.