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China Critical to Ford’s Future

Maker struggling to catch up to key competitors, GM and VW.

by on Apr.18, 2011

Ford showed the Start Concept at Beijing, last year.

Chinese car buyers will get their first good look at the new Ford Focus, this week, at the biennial Shanghai Motor Show.  The compact model is a critical part of the maker’s global OneFord strategy – but could be even more crucial if Ford hopes to finally gain some traction in the world’s largest and fastest-growing automotive market.

The Detroit maker, which has been building momentum in the U.S., Europe and some of the other key emerging markets, continues to struggle in China, where its share lags not only market leaders like General Motors and Volkswagen, but even relative newcomers such as Hyundai.

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But with a planned marketing blitz that includes the Focus and a wide range of additional products, Ford executives insist they can make up for lost time.

“Together with our partners, we are leveraging the strength of the One Ford plan and our global platforms to bring 15 new vehicles to China by 2015, reinforcing our commitment to offer a full portfolio of vehicles for our Chinese customers,” said Joe Hinrichs, president, Ford Asia Pacific and Africa.