Ford's China sales drop 26%

Ford's China sales drop 26%

Annual sales started falling in 2018, by 2.8 per cent, halting a growth march that started in the 1990s. While government officials expect fossil vehicle sales to fall again in 2020, EV sales will remain relatively healthy, aided by a stable stimulating environment and a significant number of locally produced Tesla vehicles.

Ford Motor Co.'s China sales fell for the third year in a row in 2019, dropping to less than half of what it sold at its zenith in 2016, and the company said the situation for the broader market is likely to get worse in 2020. The group gave no December sales total, but based on other CAAM data it would be about 2.2 million vehicles.

The country's vehicle output stood at 25.72 million units last year, down 7.5 percent year on year.

Monthly sales of electric vehicles rose double-digit in early 2019, but collapsed after Beijing ended government subsidies to buyers in July. Regulators shifted the burden of promoting the technology to automakers by imposing mandatory sales targets.

Communist leaders are trying to accelerate industry development by ending curbs on foreign ownership of automakers.

The market share of electric vehicles in China, the world's largest auto market, China, increased from 4.5% to 4.7%, even after a substantial trim of incentives from July.

Limits on foreign ownership are to be removed from the whole auto industry by next year. It has also said it would localize management teams by hiring more Chinese staff and aimed to improve relationships with joint-venture partners. Sales that year fell for the first time in 28 years.

Top executives in companies such as Geely and Ford Motor Co partner Chongqing Changan Automobile Co Ltd have said they expect fiercer competition to weed out weaker players. Sales declined 14.7 percent in the final quarter of 2019. It said it would improve its product lineup with "more customer-centric products and customer experiences to mitigate the external pressure and improve dealers' profitability", according to Anning Chen, who heads Ford's China business.

Nissan Motor Co. sales were off 1.1 percent at 1.5 million units.

The company sold a total of 567,854 vehicles in 2019. December sales fell 38 percent to 43,179.

GM saw a 15 percent drop in 2019 sales from a year earlier to 3.09 million vehicles, said General Motors in a statement.

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