Ford wants to up its exports to China image

In preparation for its dealership launch next year for the Lincoln brand, Ford plans to start building stock for the showrooms by importing vehicles from the United States, rather than building them locally.

According to company officials, this will allow Ford a flexible business strategy – and also cut down on the cost of the necessary investment that would be needed to tool up a line in China, although it will also put additional strain on the prices because of the significant duties for models like the Lincoln MKZ.

But it’s not just Lincoln models.Among the numerous models Ford is still exporting to China we could use as examples the the specialty Focus ST and Fiesta ST versions, notes Dave Schoch, the president of the maker’s Asia/Pacific region, and the numbers are still increasing because Chinese demand for those two performance models grew 200% in the first nine months of 2013. Ford is aiming to raise shipments of U.S. and Canadian-made cars to China to by as much as 40,000 units annually, thanks to increased traction in the booming Asian market.

“As part of our plan to offer a full family of SUVs to Chinese consumers, we began importing the Ford Explorer from the U.S. to China this year,” the maker noted. “Explorer joins our locally produced EcoSport and Kuga, as well as Edge, which is imported from Canada.”

“I’d like to be going faster,” Schoch said during a media roundtable. But while “We have the products and we have the demand,” he acknowledged, “We need the capacity.”

The maker is also right now ready to add two new Chinese assembly factories, besides another three powertrain facilities. That doesn’t really signal the end of exports for vehicles from the U.S. – or Canada or Europe – to China. In many instances,the local production cost is not justified by the low-volume models for the Asian nation, which is the same take on Ford relying  on overseas production for some limited-run offerings in the US.

Via The Detroit News