Looking to expand your Ford footprint but can’t seem to find an open point in Canada? Perhaps you should start looking east, Far East.
Ford Motor Co. says it plans to open 66 new dealerships in China by the end of this year bringing its total number of outlets to 340. With the addition of 66 new stores, The Blue Oval will have opened 100 new dealerships in China in 2010 alone.
“Following the call to 'go west,' we are expanding west and in developing cities in China where most of the future growth will come from,” said Joe Hinrichs, CEO of Ford China, referring to how the new stores are primarily located in fast-growing western and northern China.
“By expanding our retail footprint in western China, we are continuing to realize the vision of Henry Ford to make personal transportation more accessible and efficient.”
The new dealerships will be located throughout Ford's sales regions in China, in cities such as Liyang, Shijiazhuang, Harbin, Wanzhou in Chongqing and Anyang. Many of these cities, relatively unknown outside of China, have populations well over one million people and will help lead the next wave of growth in the Chinese economy.
Ford and its joint venture Changan Ford Mazda Automotive Ltd. (CFMA) are building a new assembly plant in Chongqing, and just signed an agreement to build a new engine plant also in Chongqing. Ford is introducing the new Edge SUV to China in mid-December.
Today’s announcement appears more about continuing to invest in the future for Ford, which noted it expects 70 per cent of its growth in the next ten years to come from operations in Asia Pacific and Africa. Industry sales in the region are expected to increase from 16 million units in 2009, to an estimated 50 million units by 2020.
The automaker has already forecast record sales in China this year, reporting a 39 per cent jump to 468,764 units sold from January to October.
Ford has invested US $4 billion since 2006 in the region and employs more than 25,000 people here.
In India, Ford has invested $500 million this year to double production capacity, launch the Ford Figo, expand exports, and increase engine production capacity to 250,000 units.