China Report: Ford’s renewed China push

CDN Ford Shanghai Simon Brook and Erika Tsubaki

‘Ford China 2.0’ calls for 30 new Ford and Lincoln vehicles tailored for Chinese consumers over the next three years. Car Design News spoke to Ford China head of design Simon Brook, and strategy leader Erika Tsubaki in Shanghai to find out what that means for design

Last year Ford sold 383,485 locally produced cars in China, in its worst sales performance since 2011. At its peak in 2016 the blue oval shifted 951,396. To put that into perspective, although GM also had a sales dip last year it still managed sales of 1,057,452 for just the Buick brand – it also has sales from Cadillac, Chevrolet and Baojun.

Unlike GM, which has taken a far more China-centred approach, its Dearborn-based competitor has largely relied on selling ‘world cars’ in the Chinese market. The only two exceptions are the Escort and Taurus. While the latter may share its name with the US car and is a large saloon, the model is a completely different design. But it is the Escort – based on the platform of the second generation Focus and using old drivetrains – which has been Ford’s best-selling car in China.

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