"I believe that 90 to 95 percent of our customers are cash buyers" in China, David Schoch, president of Ford's Asia-Pacific region, said. "I have a view that as the credit markets open, buying on credit will increase. Ford Motor Credit is here, but we're in the infancy stage. We do have plans to support dealer financing and consumer financing."
An Fu Ford is a modern dealership that might make some U.S. dealers envious. It has two showrooms: one for cars and one for SUVs. SUVs, known as crossovers in the United States, represent the fastest-growing vehicle category in China.
Ford's variety of SUVs in China ranges from the subcompact EcoSport upward through the Kuga (virtually identical to the U.S.-market Escape), Edge and Explorer. The latter two are imported from North America. SUVs are particularly coveted in some of the more remote Chinese regions, where the roads are rougher.
On the car side, An Fu sells the Focus, Fiesta and Mondeo. Sporty ST versions of the Fiesta and Focus will arrive soon.
The Focus, Ford's hottest car in China, is so popular that Ford sells two versions: the current Focus, identical to the 2013 U.S. version, and the Focus Classic, which is the previous generation European Focus. The compact segment in which the Focus competes is China's largest, projected to hit 5.5 million units this year, larger than Japan's entire car market.
The An Fu service department has 28 bays and a state-of-the-art service write-up area. It is humming with activity on a Tuesday afternoon in April.
An Fu Ford sells more than cars. It has a large accessories shop that resembles a miniature department store in which customers can buy items such as handbags, dashboard Buddhas and kitchen appliances.
"Almost all dealers have an accessories shop," says Ford marketing executive Wesley Liu. "If a customer comes to buy a car, they can also buy a rice cooker."