Ford Motors overhauls its China strategy to better tap the world’s biggest car market

The U.S. automaker is planning on ramping up its electric vehicle lineup to tap increasing Chinese demand for electric vehicles.

According to two high ranking sources with Ford Motors Co, the U.S. automaker is planing on overhauling its China strategy since its global “One Ford” idea is not having the required impact in China, the world’s biggest auto market.

Ford’s review of its Chinese operations, under its new CEO Jim Hackett, will see the U.S. carmaker focus on its electric vehicle lineup, which China is promoting to mitigate congestion and pollution levels at its city centers.

The change in its China strategy is also likely to gel well with its global lineup of electric and self-driving vehicles. The company has a strong market presence in Europe and in the United States.

While the “One Ford” strategy under former CEO Alan Mulally worked earlier, it does not fit all scenarios, especially India and China, said two insiders. Both are two crucial markets which have seen a slowdown in Ford’s off-take.

“That’s why nobody internally talks about ”One Ford“ (in those markets) anymore,” said a source who is familiar with Ford’s Chinese strategy.

The source preferred the cover of anonymity since they were not authorized to speak with the media.

According to Sherif Marakby, Ford’s vice president of autonomous vehicles and electrification, although he couldn’t comment on specific partnerships that haven’t been announced. “But we are absolutely open to (EV) partnerships in different markets, and we continue to talk to other companies and Tier One suppliers. Don’t be surprised to see more partnerships in electric vehicles in different markets”.

Last month, Ford and India’s Mahindra and Mahindra said they would collaborate in developing electric vehicles for India.

As per one of the knowledgeable insiders, “One big issue at Ford China is our decision-making process is too slow. We try to manage everything, all aspects of the business under “One Ford”,”.

This has hobnobbed the company’s ability to move quickly and has cost it market share.

According to LMC Automotive, Ford’s China sales are set to decline by 4.6% this year, a far cry from its double-digit growth just five years ago.


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