Media.Ford.com | Apr 7, 2017 | Shanghai
Ford Introduces 'Built Ford Tough' to China;
Ford Ranger Coming in 2018
• Ford is introducing its best-selling Built Ford Tough truck franchise in China to pursue growth opportunities in the country’s pickup market
• The popular Ford Ranger mid-size pick-up will be launched in China starting in 2018
• The most powerful Ford pickup, the all-new F-150 Raptor, is now available in China. Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) will be announced at Ford’s “Go Further, China” event in Shanghai on April 8
SHANGHAI, April 7, 2017 – Ford Motor Company plans to introduce its best-selling Built Ford Tough truck brand in China to pursue growth opportunities in the country’s emerging pickup market.
Ford will outline the strategy Saturday at a special event in Shanghai led by President and CEO Mark Fields. In addition to announcing pricing for the F-150 Raptor high performance pickup going on sale now in China, Ford will announce plans to start selling the globally popular Ford Ranger mid-size pickup in the market from 2018.
“We’re very excited to bring Built Ford Tough, one of the world’s best loved and most successful brands, to customers in the world’s largest auto market,” said Mark Fields, Ford president and CEO. “We see a significant white-space opportunity with Chinese buyers increasingly looking for more capable, more refined and more stylish pickups.”
While pickup trucks currently represent less than two percent of the market, China is already the fourth largest truck market in the world with 14 percent growth last year. Ford recently completed extensive market research to better understand Chinese attitudes, wants and needs when it comes to trucks. Those surveyed said pickups traditionally have been perceived as lacking comfort and modern features. Chinese customers, however, have had more exposure to modern trucks through TV, film and the internet and have become more interested in pickups with more SUV-level comfort and refinement to support their work needs and expanding outdoor lifestyle.
At the same time, China has been easing restrictions on pickup usage in city centers, which is another factor driving growing interest in pickups.
“We see an opportunity to satisfy unmet need in China – for world-class, stylish and refined pickups – and also to be a pioneer in this emerging segment,” said Dave Schoch, president of Ford Asia Pacific and CEO, Ford China. “Built Ford Tough is a proven brand, dating back to 1976 and we believe it has the opportunity to resonate powerfully with Chinese consumers.”
Introducing Ranger in China
Ranger comes to China with a strong track record. The best-selling midsize pickup in Europe, South Africa and New Zealand, and second best-selling midsize truck globally outside North America, Ford Ranger has set a new benchmark in the compact pickup truck segment since its launch, with an uncompromised blend of robust capability, toughness and advanced technology.
A bold, modern look lends Ranger a powerful presence on the road, and immediately conveys a sense of capability. A stylish interior creates a comfortable, contemporary and car-like environment for the driver and passengers making Ranger suitable for both work and everyday driving.
F-150 Raptor is now available
Inspired by extreme desert racing trucks, the F-150 Raptor is in a class of its own among off-road performance vehicles, with a purpose-built engine, chassis and suspension.
Exported as a four-door SuperCrew model, the second-generation F-150 Raptor leverages the latest advanced technologies, including a military-grade, high-strength, aluminum-alloy cab, while its muscular body is uniquely composite. Equipped with an advanced six-mode Terrain Management System™ including Baja 1000, F-150 Raptor is engineered to meet the needs of the most demanding owners.
“The F-150 Raptor has created a lot of buzz among Chinese customers since it was revealed for the first time last year and we are extremely excited to have it arriving in our showrooms in China, ready to be delivered to customers,” said Peter Fleet, vice president, Marketing, Sales and Service, Ford Asia Pacific.
The Raptor features an exclusive high-output version of the 3.5-liter EcoBoost® engine mated with a Ford-built 10-speed automatic transmission. With 3.0-inch FOX Racing Shox, and 17-inch BFGoodrich® All-Terrain T/A® KO2 tires, it is the essence of tough, powerful and capable.
Ford has sold more than 26 million F-Series since 1977, making it the top-selling truck in America for 40 consecutive years, and the country’s best-selling vehicle overall for 35 years.
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The Ford Ranger Is Heading To China In 2018
FordAuthority — by Aaron Birch — Apr 7, 2017
Ford Motor Company today announced that it will introduce the Ford Ranger mid-size pickup to China starting in 2018, expanding its truck footprint – which so far consists of the F-150 Raptor – in the pivotal market.
“We’re very excited to bring ‘Built Ford Tough,’ one of the world’s best loved and most successful brands, to customers in the world’s largest auto market,” says Ford President and CEO Mark Fields. “We see a significant white-space opportunity with Chinese buyers increasingly looking for more capable, more refined and more stylish pickups.”
Historically, the pickup truck market in China has been limited by laws that restrict or ban their use in certain provinces, especially where there is a high population density. Those regulations are starting to be rethought and relaxed, however, and China’s sheer market size means that even while pickups make up a small percentage of all vehicles on the road, there is still a large volume of them in the market.
In fact, Ford says that China is the fourth-largest truck market in the world, despite the segment only occupying a 2-percent share. Chinese sales of trucks grew 14 percent last year.
Tomorrow, at a special event in Shanghai, Ford will announce more details about its play to sell more light-duty trucks in the Chinese market, at the same time that it expounds upon its electrified-vehicle strategy in the country. This will include finally cluing us in on what the all-new Ford F-150 Raptor will actually cost in China.
“We see an opportunity to satisfy unmet need in China – for world-class, stylish and refined pickups – and also to be a pioneer in this emerging segment,” says Ford China CEO and Asia Pacific President Dave Schoch. “Built Ford Tough is a proven brand, dating back to 1976 and we believe it has the opportunity to resonate powerfully with Chinese consumers.”
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Even Amid Trade Tensions, Ford Pushes Pickup Trucks in China
N Y Times
By KEITH BRADSHER - April 7, 2017
SHANGHAI — Liu Qipeng has a passion for rock climbing and camping, but for those activities, a Chinese-branded vehicle just won’t do.
So even in this era of rising trade tensions between Washington and Beijing, Mr. Liu, 38, a chemicals recycling entrepreneur in southeastern China, chose to wait for the chance to buy what might be the most American of rides: a Ford F-150 Raptor pickup truck imported from the United States.
“I like this model because it is very masculine and powerful,” Mr. Liu said, adding that his friends “start to lean toward Ford when they plan to change their cars.”
Ford Motor is putting the premium version of the F-150 on sale on Saturday in a country where pickup trucks are virtually unheard-of except on farms. Detroit’s automakers see a potential new world of Chinese drivers, who in recent years have embraced sport utility vehicles and want to drive bigger, beefier cars.
As President Trump and President Xi Jinping of China meet in Florida this week to address growing trade tensions, Ford’s interest in sending American-made pickup trucks to China underlines the debate’s complexities. Despite lopsided trade between the countries, Chinese consumers show a persistent and lucrative appetite for American brands.
Fords and Chevrolets — mostly made in China, but profitable either way for Detroit — are common sights on the streets. “They think American-brand vehicles are reliable, strong and tough,” said Yale Zhang, the managing director of Automotive Foresight, a consulting firm in Shanghai.
It goes beyond cars. Apple’s iPhone has faced growing competition but remains a sign of affluence and success. Chinese consumers wear Nikes and buy lattes at Starbucks. For many buyers, the brands connote sophistication and an indication that they have made it.
Ford, which will import the pickups from Dearborn, Mich., is not alone. General Motors this year began to import Chevrolet Silverado full-size pickup trucks from Flint, Mich., and the Chevrolet Colorado midsize pickup from Wentzville, Mo. Ford plans to start importing the Ford Ranger midsize pickup next year as well. Both have modest expectations compared with the United States, where nearly 2.7 million pickup trucks were sold last year, almost eight times as many as in China last year, according to LMC Automotive, a global consulting firm.
For years, Chinese consumers saw pickup trucks as polluting rural rattletraps suitable only for bringing in produce from the farm. Pickups made in the country sell for as little as $7,000. Many provinces ban trucks, including pickups, from being driven in cities by day.
Interest in the cars began to grow early last year, when central government officials urged Chinese provinces to lighten restrictions on pickups as part of a broad plan to encourage consumption in the economy, including purchases of automobiles. Chinese-brand automakers had also called for a relaxation of the rules as a way to develop their pickup truck businesses.
Ford plans to introduce its “Built Ford Tough” marketing campaign in China this spring, said Peter Fleet, the company’s vice president for marketing, sales and service in Asia and the Pacific. Its marketers experimented with various Mandarin translations of the phrase before concluding that the English version worked.
“The research came back resoundingly clear: No, we understand ‘Built Ford Tough,’” Mr. Fleet said.
Cars are a particular sticking point between the United States and China because Beijing charges heavy taxes and duties on imported cars. While Ford has not released the official price for the Raptor, Mr. Liu said that he had been told it would be about $81,000. A similarly equipped Raptor sells for $50,000 in the United States. Chinese import and value-added taxes would make up most — but not all — of the difference.
The price could be even higher if Ford were importing cars from the United States instead of pickup trucks. China classifies pickup trucks as trucks and not as passenger vehicles, a category that in the country encompasses cars, sport utility vehicles and minivans. That truck classification exempts pickups from a Chinese consumption tax on passenger vehicles with large engines that can go as high as 40 percent.
Mr. Liu said that if he faced a consumption tax like that, he would not buy the Ford pickup.
“If it has a 20 percent tax, I wouldn’t consider buying it, because one of the major motives for me to buy it is that it’s a very cost-effective model,” he said. “It’s a toy for me after all, not a must-have.”
China also exempts pickup trucks entirely from fuel economy averages. It sets a much higher corporate fuel-economy average — 38 miles per gallon — than the United States for all the cars, minivans and S.U.V.s that each automaker sells in the country.
This has forced manufacturers to design and sell models with engines that are much smaller and less powerful than in the United States but also more fuel efficient.
By contrast, Mr. Trump announced last month that he would roll back increases in American fuel economy averages that President Barack Obama had mandated.
Attitudes toward pickups are softening in parts of China. Ford said six provinces had exempted pickups from urban driving restrictions widely imposed on trucks in the country.
That liberalization could help the fight against air pollution. It could shift the mix of vehicles purchased by farmers away from heavily polluting tractors and toward pickups instead, said Hui He, a senior researcher in the San Francisco office of the International Council on Clean Transportation, a nonprofit research group based in Washington best known for its role in exposing Volkswagen’s diesel emissions deception.
Mr. Liu lives in the southern city of Guangzhou, in Guangdong Province, which has not changed its rules. He said that while he owned other vehicles, he planned to drive his pickup around town sometimes as though it were a car and would see whether the police tried to stop him.
“As long as the local authorities don’t ban me from driving it here,” he said, “I’ll drive it.”