China car market may need 'Two Fords'
Wooing Chinese consumers with attractive, affordable cars is crucial if Ford is to meet its target of doubling its 3 percent China market share by mid-decade. The company now is developing what it describes as a "Value B" car, which is Ford's first attempt at a sub-$10,000 compact for the Chinese market.
Over the next three years, Ford will also expand its product range to 15 vehicles from the current five, as well as launch its upscale Lincoln brand in China. Early next year, Ford will launch three more sport-utility vehicles."It's so important to have more products at different price points in order to grow the volume and grow the share," Joe Hinrichs, who has led Ford's Asian and African operations for three years, said in an interview earlier in November."We shouldn't have to use historical legacy platforms," Hinrichs said. "The Figo in India we have done on a legacy platform out of Germany, and it's been a great vehicle for us, but you won't see us do that again because we have now our global strategy.".Since 2006, Ford has poured around $5 billion into China, aiming to boost production capacity to 1.2 million vehicles and double the number of dealers by 2015.Still, some analysts express concern that Ford may not succeed in the region unless Mulally is willing to deviate from his "One Ford" strategy. The new low-cost compact for China also will be based on a global platform, executives said."By Ford's
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