Automobile | Ford China partner sees venture’s sales rebounding on new models

Ford Motor Co.’s partner in China, Chongqing Changan Automobile Co., expects sales to rebound this year as the automakers introduce more models to help reverse losses in the world’s biggest vehicle market.

Changan and Ford’s venture will speed up the rollout of new cars including those under the luxury Lincoln brand to revive sales, Zhu Huarong, Changan’s president, said in an interview in Beijing yesterday. The venture is also making changes to the company’s strategy and workforce to meet challenges in the market, he said, without elaborating.

“We are very confident” that sales at the venture with Ford will recover this year, Zhu said.

Carmakers are reeling from a decline in deliveries in China after a trade war with the U.S. and an equity rout last year dented consumer demand, contributing to a fourth-quarter loss of USD534 million in China for Ford. Sales at the Ford-Changan venture dropped 54 percent in 2018, and may have contributed to profit plunging as much as 93 percent at listed Chongqing Changan.

Changan, whose manufacturing roots date back more than 150 years, is working on a plan to develop hydrogen fuel-cell cars that are slated to go on sale in 2025, Zhu said. The carmaker, based in Chongqing, southwestern China, will cooperate with other companies on this development plan, Zhu said, declining to specify whether it will team up with Ford. Bloomberg

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