Ford Set To Beat Toyota And Honda In China

Who would have guessed that a few short years ago? Amidst all of the doom and gloom about Asian slowdowns and stagnant world eco...

Who would have guessed that a few short years ago?

Amidst all of the doom and gloom about Asian slowdowns and stagnant world economic growth, car sales have soared in China this year with sales for passenger vehicles last month climbing the most since January. The reported recovery in economic growth is thought to have contributed to a 20.3% jump to 1.6 million units in October, beating industry experts' forecast of 1.5 million units as reported by the state controlled CCTV English edition.

Resurgent demand for Japanese marques in the fourth quarter was said to have been at the forefront of the gainers but General Motors, the largest autoseller in China and the US, was reporting a 12% increase in sales with a whopping 282,466 units sold in the month, largely due to sales in its Cadillac division.

Not to be left behind, Ford reported an almost unbelievable 55% jump in their sales to a total of 93,969 vehicles, with very strong growth for the Focus boosting the position of the US’s number 2 automaker. Toyota reported a stellar increase of 81% last month to 82,400 units and Honda trebled their sales to 75,100 as the Diaoyu islands territorial dispute faded into a distant memory.

For many years Ford had languished behind the dominant General Motors and Volkswagen brands, and the other Japanese competitions. However, Ford believe that they have the right manufacturing assets in place and the right model line-up to enable them to sell over 900,000 vehicles in China this year, which is incidentally the same as Toyota’s forecasts and above Honda’s 750,000 estimate. Nissan, that other Japanese marque, claims it will achieve 1.2 million sales this year; most analysts think they will be at a stretch to achieve that number though.

A few years ago when Ford went, cap in hand albeit on a private jet, from Detroit to Washington begging for a bailout, most analysts were predicting the final fall of the old order and the confirmation that the sun really does rise in the east. Few would have guessed at that time that the old guard of General Motors and Ford would be a market challenger in China, the world’s fastest growing and already arguably the largest auto market, just a few short years later. But that is what they have become and it would seem that the US government indeed did take the right option when they allowed the mighty Detroit companies to restructure and reinvent themselves, to clear out the trash and come back with new products that people actually want. Who would have guessed?

image: AFP


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