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Ford China sales soar 49% in 2013, pushing it past Toyota for No. 5

7180 Views 3 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  iculookn
January 6, 2014 - 6:33 am ET
SHANGHAI (Bloomberg) -- Ford Motor Co.'s China sales surged 49 percent in 2013, overtaking Toyota Motor Corp. as the nation's fifth-largest foreign automaker.

Ford delivered a record 935,813 units in the country last year, while Toyota's sales gained 9.2 percent to 917,500 vehicles. It's the first time Ford outsold Toyota on an annual basis in China, based on company statements stretching back to 2001.

While Ford got a later start in China than General Motors Co. and Volkswagen AG, the automaker is catching up. The popularity of the Focus helped Ford's sales in the country expand faster than any major competitor and the company is spending $4.9 billion to double manufacturing capacity there.

"Ford was a latecomer, but they've really made an effort to diversify their portfolio," said Klaus Paur, Shanghai-based global head of automotive coverage at market researcher Ipsos. "In 2014, Ford will solidify their position because it seems they have a good strategy and good portfolio."

Aside from the Focus, Ford benefited from the popularity of new locally manufactured models such as the Kuga and EcoSport SUVs, as well as the Fusion -- called Mondeo in China.

Japanese recovery

Through the first 11 months of 2013, Volkswagen outsold all other foreign automakers in China, followed by General Motors, Nissan Motor Co. and Hyundai Motor Co., according to figures reported by the companies. Through 2012, GM had held the lead for eight straight years.

At Toyota, sales rebounded to a record in 2013, recovering from the previous year, when a backlash against Japanese brands caused its sales in the country to fall for the first time on record. The company brought new versions of the Vios, Yaris L and Reiz compact cars and the RAV4 crossover to China last year to win back consumers.
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That's a huge jump fro 646k in 2012. And the Kuga, EcoSport and New Mondeo is just gaining momentum in China with Ford's dealership expansion still in full swing. With the extra fees lifted, we should see a spike in Edge and Explorers imported into China for 2014 until local production kicks in.

Ford should hit 1.5 Million for 2014.
Ford products seem to be resonating with people worldwide.
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