Ford China Sales up 32% in July to 43,000

During the last five years while cutting its work force in the U.S. and Europe, Ford has announced investments totaling almost $5 billion in China.

Ford China sales in July totaled 42,560 up 32%. Most of the increase was due to the joint venture Changan Ford Mazda, which sold 26,306 Ford-brand cars, an increase of 44% from July of 2011. Sales of the old and new Focus dominated the results. Total Ford brand car sales including the imported Edge and Explorer were 27,498.

Ford China’s performance year-to-date is not as strong (due to an inexplicably bad first quarter) with 319,882 vehicles sold, an increase of 4% from the January to July 2011 period in a 2012 market that is growing at twice that rate.

Sales at Jiangling Motors Corporation, Ford’s commercial vehicle investment in China were 15,602 wholesale units in July, an increase of 8% year over year, in a market that is declining slightly.

Yesterday JMC announced its entry into the heavy truck business by announcing the intention to buy Taiyuan Changan Heavy Truck Company. (JMC and Ford to Buy Taiyuan Changan Heavy Truck in China) JMC sold more than 190,000 vehicles in 2011, bringing in revenue of 17.5 billion Yuan or ~$2.7 billion.

China is the world’s largest heavy truck market, with more heavy trucks – 1 million – sold last year than in Europe, North America and South America combined. The light commercial market is about as large as the passenger vehicle market in China, making China by far the world’s largest vehicle market.  LMC Automotive’s China forecast is 19.47 million units this year, up 8.2% from 2011.

Last year Ford sold 519,000 vehicles in China, where it badly lags well-established competitors such as General Motors (2.5 million) or Volkswagen Group (2.3 million). In July, General Motors and it government required joint ventures sold 199,503 vehicles in China, a 15.1% increase y-o-y, and an all time record for the month. For the first seven months of 2012, GM sales were up 11.7% on an annual basis to 1,616,550 units. The Volkswagen brand ytd delivered 1.14 million vehicles up 15%.  Audi sold 227,000 vehicles, a 35% increase y-o-y in the same period. In an interesting contrast, Mercedes-Benz sales rose by 6.7% to a new record high of 113,519 units ytd.

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