Ford's Sales in China Declined 26.1% past year

Ford's vehicle sales in China tumble for third consecutive year

Ford China Chief Executive Officer Anning Chen poses for

Citing the monthly trend of production and sales of vehicles, the CAAM said China's automobile production and sales situation is gradually improving.

Sales of passenger vehicles fell 9.6 percent year on year to 21.44 million units, while those of NEVs decreased 4 percent to 1.2 million.

After two decades of explosive growth, China suffered its first annual decline in vehicle sales in 2018, because the turmoil with President Donald Trump and slowing economic growth led consumers to postpone major purchases.

The state-backed China Association of Automobile Manufacturers is set to release overall sales data for 2019 later Monday.

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Sales of electric and gasoline-electric hybrid sedans and SUVs in 2019 sank 4 percent over a year earlier to 1.2 million.

"Earlier, Miao Wei, China's minister for industry and information technology (MIIT), told a forum that the country would not cut subsidies for new energy vehicles (NEV) again in July, an approach which was cheered by vehicle makers".

But global automakers have been cautious with their predictions after cutting back production, shutting factories and firing staff previous year. Executives at automakers such as Geely and Ford Motor Co partner Chongqing Changan Automobile Co Ltd have said they expect fiercer competition to weed out weaker players.

Ford sold 567,854 vehicles last year in China, down 26.1 percent from a year earlier, the company said in a statement Monday.

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It remained cautious about 2020, echoing bearish comments on China's market from General Motors Co. Annual sales started falling in 2018, by 2.8 per cent, halting a growth march that started in the 1990s.

Their China-made electric vehicles became very competitive in the Chinese market as a result of the local government's subsidies for electric vehicles. While industry experts ascribed the latest slump to tariffs brought by the China-U.S. trade war, the company said its sales crisis stemmed mainly from a lack of new products, Reuters reported earlier.

Among models that were launched in the fourth quarter, the new Ford Escape performed better than any other model in terms of received orders, while the Lincoln Corsair is the first localized Lincoln auto in China. That would compare with 8.2 per cent past year when sales were pressured by new emission standards in a shrinking economy that was contending with tit-for-tat import tariffs with the United States.

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