Ford motor CO’s China vehicle sales fell for a third consecutive year, by 26.1%, as it battles a prolonged overall sales decline in its second-biggest market that has hit demand for its mass-market ford brand and sports utility vehicles.
The US automaker delivered 146,473 vehicles in China in the fourth quarter, down 14.7% year-on-year, Ford said in a statement. In total, it sold 567,854 vehicles over 2019.
Ford has been trying to revive sales in China after its business began slumping in late 2017. Sales sank 37% in 2018, after a 6% decline in 2017.
Anning Chen, President and Chief Executive of Ford Greater China, said that while 2019 was a “challenging” year for the automaker, it saw its market share in the high-to-premium segment stabilize and its sales decline in the value segment start to narrow in the second half of the year.
The automaker plans to launch more than 30 new models in China over the next three years of which over a third will be electric vehicles. It has also said it would localize management teams by hiring more Chinese staff and aimed to improve relationships with joint venture partners.
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.