Ford unveils new China SUV, eyes sales boost next year
U.S. carmaker Ford Motor Co (F.N) unveiled a new China sport utility vehicle (SUV) on Tuesday, and said its plan to release a spate of new models will help turn around tumbling sales in the world’s top auto market from the start of next year, Reuters reports.
Ford, fighting to recover from a severe sales slump in China, will start selling the entry-level SUV, called the “Territory”, early next year. The car is jointly developed with local partner Jiangling Motors Corp Ltd (JMC) (000550.SZ).
The car, based on a no-frills model from JMC, is aimed at appealing to consumers in China’s smaller, so-called lower-tier cites, which have been a major engine of growth in the market over the last decade. It would compete with models from local firms like Geely (0175.HK) and Great Wall Motor (601633.SS).
The SUV is one of the 50 new or redesigned vehicles Ford has said it plans to launch in China starting this year and through 2025, which include the redesigned Ford Focus car due to hit showrooms later in 2018.
“All these vehicles - the Ford Territory, the Ford Focus and the Ford Escort... they will all start to make their volume retail contributions in the first quarter (of 2019)”, Peter Fleet, Ford’s China and Asia chief, told reporters on a call.