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.
"China is one of the world's largest and most dynamic digital markets, thriving on innovation with customers' online and offline experiences converging rapidly", said Jim Hackett, Ford's president and chief executive, in a press release. Company leaders also are working on broader infrastructure opportunities to improve future mobility experiences. Ford's participation supports the company's robotics and artificial intelligence research efforts and provides an opportunity to contribute to a platform that will be key to developing autonomous vehicles in China. The vehicle would be delivered to them on the ground floor.
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. "The progress we have achieved in China is just the start". It also allows Ford to further tailor vehicles to more closely meet the needs of Chinese customers.
Ford last month opened the Nanjing Test Center, which furthers product development capability and innovation in China.
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The company also is committed to improving the ownership experience for customers with the launch of Quick Lane, its global fast, high-quality service provider. Ford plans to open 100 new outlets next year.
Ford is a relatively small player due to its late arrival, and has seen sales slow in 2017 after several years of rapid growth as it plays catch-up to more established foreign rivals like General Motors Co. and Volkswagen AG. 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.
"Now is the time to deepen the partnerships we have with Changan and Jiangling Group and present one Ford brand in China", Fleet said. All new automobiles in China to be internet-connected by close of 2019.
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