Ford sees Chinese sales drop six percent in July image

Ford, here the second largest US automaker and its local Chinese joint ventures had a drop of six percent last month in sales compared to the same period last year.

The US company’s figures are another hint that China, the world’s largest auto market, is passing through a slower period of growth. General Motors, Volkswagen, Toyota, Hyundai and BMW have all had similar results when reporting July sales, even as all the industry players operated significant price cuts and introduced numerous incentives to safeguard their business. The only automaker to have a positive result so far has been Mercedes-Benz, which has been surging tremendously during the past two years in a move to close that gap on its German rivals on the Chinese luxury market. Some of the automaker will see a wider impact than others on their global finances because of the unexpected Chinese woes: BMW officials have acknowledged the slump in China will hit the company’s finance books while GM said it would deliver on its promised profit margin in the country thanks to a careful strategy.

Ford sales in China are now modestly down, by 0.7 percent during the first seven months of the year compared to the same period in 2014 when they were massively surging. Ford most recently posted a positive May month, up 4 percent and showed the first decline in June at three percent. The China Association of Automobile Manufacturers has already hinted it expects July auto sales to drop even more than June’s slide of 2.3 percent year over year.