Ford China, a unit of Ford Motor Co., said its plan to unify Ford brand’s marketing and sales operations at its two Chinese joint ventures remains unchanged.
Reuters reported last week the plan was being scrapped in part because of mistrust between Ford and its local partners, contributing to the U.S. automaker’s sales slump in China.
“Through the National Distribution Services Division (NDSD) of the Ford China Marketing and Sales operation, we are committed to simplifying the buying experience for our Chinese customers, and to be more closely connected with our dealers and the community,” Ford China said in a statement Friday.
“We have no plan to change this direction,” it added.
Ford China created the National Distribution Services Division in June 2018 to consolidate sales, marketing and services of Ford-brand vehicles at its two partnerships.
In the statement, Ford China also said it is “dedicated” to strengthening cooperation with its partners and supporting its dealers.
Ford assembles and markets Ford brand sedans and crossovers at Changan Ford, its joint venture with Changan Automobile Co.
It also builds and distributes the Territory crossover, Everest SUV, Tourneo multipurpose vehicle and Transit van at Jiangling Motors Corp., a three-way partnership among Ford, Changan and Jiangling Motors Group.
Ford's China sales hit 1.08 million in 2016 but have steadily declined because of a lack of sufficient new and redesigned products.
Ford releases China sales results quarterly. In the second quarter of this year, sales at Ford brand slumped 28 percent to 92,885.