Ford's new vehicle sales tumble in China by over 26%

Marco Green
January 14, 2020

After two decades of explosive growth, China suffered its first annual decline in auto sales in 2018 as unease over the tariff war with President Trump and slowing economic growth prompted consumers to put off big purchases.

"The easing of trade tensions between China and the United States has also helped restore consumer confidence", said Kang, who expects China vehicle sales to grow 0.05% this year.

The country's new vehicle sales have declined for 18 straight months, including the narrow loss in December of just 0.1%, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) said.

"The easing of trade tensions between China and the United States has also helped restore consumer confidence", said Kang, who expects auto sales in China to grow 0.05% this year.

Once the world's hottest automotive market, China is now the world's hottest disappointing market as new vehicle sales fell 8.2% in 2019, with Ford China getting hit hard, posting a 26.1% fall and General Motors declining 15%.

This fall, however, was slower than the 37% drop in sales Ford weathered in 2018 and the company said it saw its market share in the high-to-premium segment stabilise past year.

The automaker plans to launch greater than 30 new fashions in China over the subsequent three years, of which over a 3rd can be electrical automobiles.

Industry watchers, though, are hoping a sales recovery in lower-tier cities, and an easing of trade tensions between China and the United States, can help ease the decline.

NEV sales shrank 4% in 2019 to 1.21 million units.

The industry ministry said over the weekend that China will not make significant cuts to subsidies for NEVs this year, which reassured carmakers. Global automakers have been cautious with their predictions after cutting production, shutting factories and firing staff previous year.

Executives at automakers such as Geely and Ford Motor Co partner Chongqing Changan Automobile Co Ltd have said they expect fiercer competition to weed out weaker players.

Toyota Motor Corp sold around 1.62 million Toyota and premium Lexus cars in China last year, a 9% sales jump compared with a year earlier.

In 2019, vehicle production dropped 7.5 percent from a year ago.

Ford saw its December sales fall 14.7% during the final month of the year, as it continues to grapple with updating its vehicle line-up.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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