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GM, Ford Set China Sales Records in January

Buick leads GM to new monthly benchmark.

by on Feb.08, 2016

The Buick Envision helped General Motors set a new January sales record in China.

Both General Motors and Ford set January sales records in China despite the continuing concerns about the Chinese economy.

In January, retail sales by General Motors and its joint ventures in China were up 7.3% year over year to a record 421,023 vehicles, as Buick posted its best-ever monthly sales, GM officials said. Demand was given a boost by the upcoming Chinese New Year holiday in early February.

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Buick sales in January grew 39% from a year earlier to 138,907 units. Monthly sales of the brand exceeded 130,000 units for the first time, led by the Excelle GT and Envision SUV. Sales of the Envision more than doubled last month year over year. (more…)

Some Automakers Thriving in Slower China Economy

GM, Ford, Mercedes all expect sales to outpace industry in 2016.

by on Jan.18, 2016

The Buick Envision enjoyed explosive success in the Chinese market in 2015, giving GM reason to be optimistic about China in 2016.

A huge drop in the value of Chinese stocks has unsettled the global economy and led to predictions of slower growth around the world and intense pressure on the energy sector where an oil glut has developed in face of falling demand.

Nonetheless, automakers remain surprisingly upbeat about sales in China, which has become by far the world’s largest market for new vehicles despite the prospects for only modest growth of the Chinese economy overall.

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No one expects the kind of explosive, double-digit growth that characterized the decade prior to 2015 when it finally slowed dramatically. But automakers such as Ford Motor, General Motors and Daimler AG remain cautiously optimistic about their Chinese business. (more…)

GM, Ford, Buick Trend and Deliver Record Chinese Sales

by on Jan.08, 2016

The Ford Focus in China.

Despite the increasingly serious downturn in the Chinese economy, both Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Corp. managed to lock down record sales in China for 2015.

That bucks the trend that has hammered a number of their key competitors, including Japanese giant Toyota and embattled German maker Volkswagen. Both makers are upbeat, albeit playing things cautiously as they look ahead to 2016.

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So far, both GM and Ford have refrained from making any predictions about China’s market. However, executives from both companies are likely to be pressed for forecasts during the North American International Auto Show in Detroit next week.

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Ford Posts Big November Sales Gain in China

Maker defies industry's downward trend.

by on Dec.08, 2015

Ford's sales in China enjoyed a 9% increase despite waning sales in the country.

Despite the slower growth in the Chinese economy, Ford Motor Co. has succeeded in expanding its foothold in what is now the world’s largest market for new vehicles.

Ford is nearing the 1 million mark for sales in China for the first time, the automaker reported, after selling 106,283 vehicles in November to bring the year-to-date total to 990,356. November performance was up 9% compared to 2014. General Motors also reported increased sales in China during November

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“We are pleased that more and more customers are relying on Ford to provide them with vehicles they both want and value,” said John Lawler, chairman and CEO of Ford Motor China. “We remain committed to offering a full range of high-quality, safe, smart and fuel-efficient vehicles in China.” (more…)

Ford Set to Invest $1.8 bil in China R&D

Playing catch-up; will VW problems provide an opportunity?

by on Oct.12, 2015

Ford CEO Fields has steadily expanded the maker's presence in China, including production and R&D.

Ford Motor Co. will invest nearly $2 billion over the next five years on its Chinese R&D operations in a bid to catch up to market leaders Volkswagen AG and General Motors.

A latecomer to what is now the world’s largest automotive market, Ford has rapidly gained ground in recent years as it has expanded both its Chine product portfolio and manufacturing network. Much of its growth has come at the expense of Japanese rivals like Toyota, but the current crisis that has tripped up VW could prove another opportunity for Michigan-based Ford.

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The new R&D effort will include the battery-based vehicles that Chinese regulators are demanding in an effort to deal with that country’s endemic smog problems. At a conference in Shanghai on Monday, Ford CEO Mark Fields said the maker will introduce both a hybrid version of the midsize Mondeo, and a plug-in, the C-Max Energi, in China next year.

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Ford Motor Co. Sets Records, Beats Earnings Forecasts

Few clouds on the immediate horizon.

by on Jul.28, 2015

Ford hopes to drive revenues even higher with the new Limited version of its F-150 pickup.

Just about any way you look at it, the second quarter was a good one for Ford Motor Co., the second-largest domestic automaker not only handily beating Wall Street analysts’ forecasts but delivering record numbers in North America and Asia/Pacific.

Even Europe came close to breaking even after years of heavy losses, noted Ford President and CEO Mark Fields. All told, the maker delivered net income of $1.9 billion per share, a 44% or $544 million year-over-year rise. On a per-share basis, Ford made 47 cents. That was up seven cents per share compared to the second-quarter of 2014 – and 10 cents more than the Wall Street consensus forecast.

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“We delivered an outstanding second quarter, a great first half of 2015, and we are confident the second half of the year will be even stronger,” declared Fields in a prepared statement accompanying the earnings report. “The entire Ford team is focused on accelerating our One Ford plan, delivering product excellence and driving innovation in every part of our business.”

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Ford May Cut Production as Chinese Car Market Falters

Domestic Chinese makers gaining ground on foreign rivals.

by on May.26, 2015

Ford recently unveiled its Focus ST in China.

With the economy faltering, the Chinese car market is growing at its slowest rate in 15 years – and Ford Motor Co. says it may respond by trimming production in the once-booming China.

That would be a sudden shift in direction for Ford which, only two months ago, announced the opening of a major new plant in Hangzhou, part of its plan to double production capacity in the populous Asian market to 1.2 million vehicles annually.

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“If there is softness in the market, I won’t let stocks build and we’ll cut production,” said David Schoch, president of Ford Asia Pacific. So far, he added, “We have had some production cuts, but it’s nothing material.”

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Ford Unveils New Taurus at Shanghai Motor Show

But no plans to bring “premium business sedan” to the U.S.

by on Apr.20, 2015

Ford debuted a new Taurus for sale in China only. The larger Taurus is designed to accommodate Chinese buyers who sit in the back while using a driver.

Ford has lifted the covers on a new version of its big Taurus. But in a significant move, it is describing the model on display at this week’s Shanghai Motor Show as a “new premium business sedan for China.”

That translates from Mandarin to mean that American buyers almost certainly will not see the new Taurus design come to the U.S. – at least not any time soon considering the weak market here for full-size vehicles. The Ford sedan is one of several large new models debuting in Shanghai – a list including the Volkswagen C Coupe – that will not make it the States.

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But while the maker stressed in a release that the new Taurus is “designed especially to meet the needs of the Chinese market,” John Lawler, the chairman and CEO of Ford China insists the big sedan “shows the amazing strength and flexibility of our One Ford plan.” (more…)

Ford Charges into China with New $760 mil Plant

Ford on the way to becoming China’s fourth-largest carmaker.

by on Mar.24, 2015

The new China plant will initially produce the Ford Edge but will have capacity for five other models.

Late to the Chinese party, Ford Motor Co. is playing a fast-paced game of catch-up. The Detroit maker’s latest move comes with the opening of a new, $760 million assembly plant in Hangzhou, about 100 miles southwest of Shanghai.

The new facility will bring to 1.2 million Ford’s rated annual capacity in China, and could position the company as the market’s fourth-largest manufacturer. But the Hangzhou plant opens just as the Chinese car market begins to cool, along with the rest of the economy, for the first time in more than a decade.

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Nonetheless, Ford CEO Mark Fields, who was on hand for the Tuesday plant dedication, was optimistic, declaring, “This world-class facility will help us accelerate the delivery of high-quality, innovative products to our customers in China.”

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Ford Enjoys Record January Sales in China

GM sees drop as economic growth slows.

by on Feb.09, 2015

GM's sales in China fell in January as production couldn't keep up with demand.

It was the best of times. It was the worst of times … or, when describing General Motors’ sales results in China last month, it was a subpar time.

Sales by GM and its joint venture partners in China dropped 2.4% during January as GM felt the impact of the slowing of the Chinese economy for the first time after years of steady growth.

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Conversely, it was the best of times for Ford, as the maker reported record sales growth in China as it continued to benefit from its recent expansion in the Chinese market with sales increasing 19% from a year ago. (more…)