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Ford, GM Report Better-Than-Expected March Sales in China

Ford sales increase while GM posts small drop as SUV sales reign supreme.

by on Apr.08, 2016

Sport-utes continue to be the savior of sales in China for General Motors and Ford.

General Motors and Ford Motor Co. succeeded in holding their ground or growing sales in China in the face of some major headwinds with help of strong showings by their luxury brands, Cadillac and Lincoln.

Ford reported 2016 as first quarter sales in China increased 14% compared to the same period last year, with 314,454 vehicles sold. Sales of Ford-branded vehicles reached 114,788 in March, up 5% compared with March 2015.

The Last Word!

Lincoln has also had a strong start to the year with 5,484 vehicles sold in the first quarter, a three-fold increase compared with the same time in 2015. Lincoln’s strong performance in the first quarter was supported by the growing number of dealerships, which reached 37 by the end of March, and Chinese customers’ positive reception of Lincoln SUVs, Ford officials noted.

“We are pleased with the continued growth and positive customer response our products continue to receive in China,” said John Lawler, chairman and CEO of Ford Motor China. “We remain committed to offering a great portfolio of vehicles and providing world class service to our valued customers.”

Ford sport utility vehicles continue to be in high demand by Chinese customers, with combined sales of the Ford Ecosport, Ford Kuga, Ford Edge, Ford Explorer and Ford Everest in the first quarter up 38% compared with the same time last year. Ford sold 26,732 SUVs in March, up 29% compared with March 2015.

(Ford Mustang is top selling sports car in March … in Germany! For more, Click Here.)

Ford performance vehicles have been another highlight for the brand in China. Sales of the iconic pony car, the Ford Mustang, were up 75% in the first quarter, while sales of the Ford Focus ST increased 23% during the same time.

General Motors and its joint ventures deliveries dropped slightly in March.

For the first quarter, GM, led by strong performance in the SUV and luxury segments where consumer demand remains high, saw a slide of slightly less than 1% in the face of widespread concern over economic growth and predictions of sales declines in car sales across China where pollution and overcrowded roads are also major concerns.

(Click Here for the details on another strong month of U.S. sales in March.)

Again, the maker certainly enjoyed some bright spots, including the fact that Cadillac deliveries rose 14% in March compared with the previous year.

“We are pleased with our continued progress in the industry’s key growth segments,” said GM Executive Vice President and GM China President Matt Tsien. “We will continue to launch exciting products across our brands.”

Between now and 2020, GM and its joint ventures plan to roll out more than 60 new and refreshed models in China, including 13 this year, with a strong focus on SUVs, MPVs and luxury vehicles. GM expects China’s vehicle market to increase by 5 million units or more by 2020, representing growth of about 3 to 5% annually.

(To see more about the retirement of GM’s design chief Ed Welburn, Click Here.)

To capitalize on this trend, about 40% of the new vehicles that GM will launch in China over the next five years will be SUVs and MPVs, and GM’s Cadillac luxury brand will introduce 10 new and refreshed models, Tsien said.

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