Ford has forecast an increase in its Chinese market share during 2009.
Despite suffering a drop in sales of almost six per cent in 2008, Ford’s main Chinese joint venture, Changan Ford Mazda, beat its own sales targets by 17 per cent for the first two months of 2009.
Ford’s confident claims are backed up by the introduction of the new Ford Fiesta to the Chinese market.
The new Ford Fiesta went on sale in China in saloon and five-door hatchback guises over the weekend. It has been launched at a time when Beijing has halved the purchase tax on small, fuel-efficient, cleaner cars.
Such policies have helped the growth in the Chinese car market reach double digits in February, after the growth of the world’s largest new car market slipped to less than 10 per cent in 2008 for the first time in a decade.
If the Fiesta does as well as it has in other markets - and it has already sold more than 4000 units on pre-order - then Ford is confident it can increase its market share in China.
“If the industry [growth] is 10 per cent,” Ford’s head of sales and marketing in China, Nigel Harris, told Reuters, “then we will grow more than the industry this year.”