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Ford China Taking Steps To Weather Tough Times

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Shanghai, October 27, 2008: ( Ford Motor Co., the second-biggest U.S. automaker, is taking steps to maintain a healthy growth in the Chinese market, the Economic Observer reported today, citing a company¡¯s senior executive.

"Despite the financial crisis in its home market, Ford has no plan to change its marketing strategies in China and will continue to pursue further development of its local operations in the world¡¯s second largest auto market, "Xu Guozhen, vice president for Ford Motor (China) Ltd.

One step forward is that Ford is expected to introduce the EcoBoost technology and EcoBoost four-cylinder engines into China, said Xu.

The EcoBoost can deliver up to 20 percent better fuel economy and a 15 percent reduction in emissions without compromising driving performance and is less expensive hybrids and direct-injection diesels, according to Ford.

Xu said Ford will concentrate on developing world cars, instead of one new model with European, China and North America versions respectively, as a way to save cost.

But on the other side of the spectrum, Ford is slashing output at Changan Ford Mazda, a three-way tie-up among Ford, Japan's Mazda Motor Corp and Changan Automobile Co Ltd in accordance with slowing demand,

Ford's sales in China rose 7.1 percent from a year earlier to 240,879 vehicles in the first nine months of the year. That's slower than the 30 percent pace of one year ago.

Changan Ford Mazda sold 159,833 vehicles in the period, up 6 percent. Sales of commercial vehicle maker Jiangling Motors Corp, partly owned by Ford, came to 75,496 units in the period, with sales of Ford's Transit models up 11 percent to 21,083 units, it added.

In the first nine months, Ford rolled out several new models in China, including a five-seat and seven-seat Ford S-Max, a re-vamped Ford Mondeo and a new Ford Focus sedan, its best-selling model in China.

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