Ford Motor Co. is racing to make up for lost time after getting off to a late start in the booming Chinese market. And with demand surging 51% since the beginning of the year, the Detroit maker is rapidly expanding both its product line-up and production capacity in a bid to catch up with key competitors like General Motors and Volkswagen AG.
Ford still has a long way to go. While it was an early participant in other markets in the Asia/Pacific region, it initially steered clear of China – which is expected to see sales of 17 million vehicles this year and as many as 32 million by 2020, according to consensus forecasts. As a result, it lags way behind market leaders in terms of both sales and capacity.
But the president of the Asia/Pacific region, Ford veteran David Schoch notes that the maker is clearly heading in the right direction. It turned a 2012 loss into a $183 million profit for the first half of this year, and says Schoch, “by mid-decade I do expected Asia/Pacific to be a major contributor to Ford’s (total) profits.”