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

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

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

December sales were off 0.1% from a year earlier, CAAM said.

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 news boosted EV manufacturers in China Monday, including the Warren Buffett-backed BYD Co. and BAIC BluePark New Energy Technology Co., with both raised to the daily trading limit of 10 percent.

Sales of new energy vehicles (NEV) sank 27.4 per cent in December, resulting in an overall 4 per cent decline to 1.24 million units in 2019.

In 2020, the subsidy policy for the NEVs sector will remain largely stable, Xinhua learned from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, adding there will be no big subsidy retreats. Global automakers have been cautious with their predictions after cutting production, shutting factories and firing staff past year.

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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Ford's business in China started declining in late 2017, and the company has been trying to recover since then.

In China, Ford makes cars through its joint venture with Chongqing Changan Automobile and Jiangling Motors.

"We expect the market downturn to continue in 2020, and anticipate ongoing headwinds in our China business", Matt Tsien, president of GM China, said last week as the USA automaker reported a 15 per cent drop in 2019 China sales.

The bright spots have been Japan's Toyota Motor Corp and Honda Motor Co Ltd as well as US electric vehicle maker Tesla Inc, which started delivering China-made Model 3 sedans from its $2 billion Shanghai plant this month.

BYD Auto, one of the world's biggest electric vehicle brands by sales volume, said 2019 deliveries fell 11.4 percent to 461,399.

Models launched in the fourth quarter include a new Ford Escape version - for which the automaker said orders received so far have been much higher than expected - and the Lincoln Corsair, the first localized Lincoln model in China. GM sales in China peaked at just over 4 million units in 2017. "The negative effect of cutting purchase tax in 2015-2017 has disappeared, and vehicle sales in lower-tier cities are expected to recover", said Alan Kang, a senior analyst at LMC Automotive.

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