Ford ups electric vehicle push in China as Beijing transforms market

08 December, 2017, 02:05 | Author: Regina Silva

The news comes after the Dearborn-based company announced plans to launch 50 new vehicles in China by 2025, including at least 15 electric vehicles, at an event in Shanghai on Tuesday.

However, in the current unfinalized version of the deal, financing will be provided through Alibaba's affiliate Alipay rather than Ford Motor Credit Co., according to Reuters, which broke the news of the deal late Wednesday.

Optimistic on the outlook, the US vehicle maker earlier announced a joint venture with China's Anhui Zotye Automobile to produce and sell electric cars in China, with plans to launch 15 electric auto models in the country by 2025. Establishing on years of substantial investments and growth, the company outlined the next stage of its China expansion plan, focused on SUVs, connected and electric vehicles, a reorganized business structure and strong connections to Chinese consumers. It's stepped up pressure on automakers to accelerate development of electric cars by raising the first-year target for a planned system of production quotas.

Plus, by the end of 2019, 100 percent of new Ford and Lincoln-badged vehicles in China will be connected through either embedded modems or plug-in devices.

Ford Motor intends to locally assemble five more automobiles in China for Chinese consumers beginning in 2019, including the firm's first worldwide all-electric small SUV.

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"Some of our most advanced manufacturing and innovation facilities are here in China", said Peter Fleet, group vice president and president, Ford Asia Pacific. "We now have a chance to expand our presence in China and deliver even more for customers, our partners and society".

The partnership would be part of Ford's effort to overhaul its China strategy to revive the growth momentum it has lost in recent months.

The source said Ford is "behind in using big data" to monitor sales trends and effectively market its cars and the move to online sales as well as the access to Tmall's massive database of information on consumers would help it to catch up. New single distribution services segment meant to release next year, meant to offer an improved experience for consumers and enhanced brand consistency while lowering costs.

One avenue under consideration is the sale of Ford cars on Tmall, an Alibaba spokeswoman said.

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