China is the biggest automotive market in the entire world and now the country is also gearing up to reach the top most position in vehicle manufacturing by 2021. All major manufacturers are coming up with great strategies to lap up sales in the country. Ford is one such manufacturer who wants to grab a big share in the Chinese auto market. Even though the American automaker entered China later than rivals, the Focus from Ford’s stable has always been a best seller in China. Along with Ford, it is GM and Volkswagen who have a strong foothold in the Chinese market.
Ford seems to be very optimistic about its growth in the Chinese market. The company went on a showroom offensive on 19th June 2014 and launched as many as 88 showrooms in a single day! The automaker now has a total of 750 showrooms in China and approximately 50 more will be started before the year ends. Most of these new showrooms have come up in lower tier cities which are still undergoing the development phase where demand for vehicles is steadily rising. Ford has a local tie-up with Changan Automobile Co. and about three-quarters of these dealerships are being operated in tier-IV cities.
Ford is following a strategy of growing sales in smaller cities where vehicle demand is still increasing. While this sounds good, it also seems difficult since Ford would have to maintain a huge stock of parts for each dealership if they are expecting sales to grow fast. The rise in sales have attracted many dealers in the central and western parts of China to open up Ford dealerships. Ford’s China sales soared 39% to 4,61,473 vehicles in the first five months of 2014. In comparison, Ford sold less than 50,000 cars in India in the same time frame.