Ford Motor Co. will introduce 15 new vehicles in China by 2015, as part of its expansion in fast-growing Asia, the company said in an statement today.
The 15 new vehicles are part of Ford's plans to introduce 50 new products and powertrains to the Asia Pacific region in the next four years, said the U.S. automaker, which is expanding rapidly to close the gap on rivals such as Volkswagen AG and General Motors Co. in the world's largest auto market.
The company also will more than double the number of dealerships it has in China by 2015, from 340 currently, and double its work force to 1,200 people by the same year, according to the statement.
"Our new lineup will significantly strengthen Ford's penetration in existing segments and drive new growth in others," Joe Hinrichs, president, Ford Asia Pacific and Africa, said in the statement.
Focus to lead the way
The first of the 15 new cars for China will be the all-new Ford Focus compact, which was designed and engineering in Europe and has been on sale here since March. Ford starts production of the new Focus in China in 2012. The car will be made in Ford's new $490 million plant in Chongqing with an initial capacity of 150,000 units.
The new Focus already is being built in Saarlouis, Germany, and the United States. Production of the new generation of the car will start at Ford's plant in St. Petersburg, Russia, later this year. Once Russia and China output starts, Ford will be closer to its plan of delivering 2 million compact-sized cars a year across 120 global markets.
Ford expects 70 percent of its growth in the next 10 years to come from its Asia Pacific and Africa region, the company said in the statement. Ford's sales in China were up 19 percent in the first quarter this year, compared to the same period last year, with 140,566 vehicles sold. During the first quarter, Ford sold 241,831 units in its Asia Pacific and Africa markets, an increase of 28 percent.
Bloomberg contributed to this report