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Ford Motor to Expand SUV, Electric, Connected China Lineup

发布时间:2017-12-07       浏览:25

Source: China Daily

By Li Fusheng

 

Ford Motor Co is set to feature more SUVs, electric and connected vehicles in its China lineup, as part of its efforts to grow its current revenue by 50 percent in the world's largest car market by 2025.

"China is not only the largest car market in the world, it's also at the heart of electric vehicle and SUV growth and the mobility movement," said Executive Chairman Bill Ford on Thursday in Shanghai.

"The progress we have achieved in China is just the start. We now have a chance to expand our presence in China and deliver even more for customers, our partners and society."

In the first 10 months of this year, the company sold nearly 940,000 cars in China, which is one of its largest markets worldwide.

Its luxury arm, Lincoln, has been the fastest growing premium brand in China.

To build on the success of the past decade, the automaker plans to offer at least 50 new Ford and Lincoln-branded vehicles in China by 2025, with eight of them SUVs, which have been the primary driving force of the country's car market.

Electrified offerings will be even more prominent. The carmaker will offer at least 15 new electrified vehicles from Ford and Lincoln by that time, and its new joint venture with Chinese carmaker Zotye will deliver a separate range of affordable electric cars under a new brand, pending regulatory approvals.

The 5 billion yuan ($754.4 million) partnership, which was signed during United States President Donald Trump's visit to China earlier this month, is a key step toward the carmaker's vision of a cleaner, more environmentally sustainable future.

China has been the world's largest market for new energy cars since 2015. A total of 490,000 electric cars and plug-in hybrids were sold from January to October this year, surging 45.4 percent year-on-year, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, which expects 700,000 vehicles to be sold by the end of December.

"Chinese customers are quick to embrace new technologies and electric cars are going to be a preferred choice. It is up to automakers like us to make the offering exciting, efficient, good-looking, fun to drive, easier and cost efficient to own," Bill Ford said.

"In just a few years, you'll see a significant difference in what you see on the roads with more and more electric cars, and we are very well positioned to succeed in the market."

The carmaker is also working hard on connectivity and autonomous driving. By the end of 2019, all new Ford and Lincoln-branded vehicles in China will be internet-connected through either embedded modems or plug-in devices.

Ford is one of the founding members of the board of Baidu's Project Apollo, a program designed to accelerate the development, testing and deployment of autonomous vehicles.

"At Ford, we are committed to becoming the world's most trusted mobility company, designing smart vehicles for a smart world," said Bill Ford.

He said the company is using advanced technologies to develop solutions in car and ride-sharing services, autonomous vehicles, digital products and services for multimodal urban journeys, so people can move freely, confidently and safely.

"And we are very excited to see this vision come to life in China."

Ford Motor is also to come up with more localized models tailored for Chinese customers that better meet their demands.

In 2019, the company will start producing five additional Ford and Lincoln models in China for Chinese customers, including a new Lincoln premium SUV and its first global fully electric small SUV. Last month, the automaker opened a test center in Nanjing, Jiangsu province, which furthers its product development capability and innovation in China.

The test center - which includes 80 types of real road surface conditions, a 3-kilometer test track and a sophisticated emissions testing facility - will allow the carmaker to speed up development of new products, services and technologies based on the demands of local customers.

The company is planning to improve the car ownership experience with the launch of Quick Lane, its global fast and high-quality service provider.

Its first two outlets open in Nanjing and Chongqing this month, offering routine vehicle maintenance such as oil and filter changes, and light repair services, including brake repairs and tire replacements, on all vehicle makes and models.

Ford Motor plans to open 100 such outlets by the end of 2018.

The company will establish a distribution service division responsible for the marketing, sales and services associated with all Ford vehicles sold in China, including those localized at its joint ventures Changan Ford Automotive and Jiangling Motors Co.

The division - which will be part of Changan Ford - is designed to offer a simplified, improved and consistent experience for Chinese customers.

Lincoln, however, will remain a stand-alone, consumer-facing brand and maintain its separate dealer network to offer the brand's unique Lincoln Way one-size-fits-one customer experience.

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