Ford is discussing launching a new low-cost brand for the Chinese domestic car market, David Schoch, chairman and CEO of Ford China confirmed in an interview.
Since GM launched the Baojun (treasured horse) brand in the country in 2010, most major foreign automakers operating in the country have followed suit – in part under pressure from the Chinese government.
GM’s Baojun brand was followed shortly after by Nissan's Qi Chen brand and Honda with Li Nian, aimed mostly at driving sales of small cars priced at up to USD10,000. Volkswagen, which is currently restructuring its management in China, has also revealed plans for a low cost car brand.
Speaking to Reuters, Schoch acknowledged that Ford “is studying indigenous brands” with its Chinese partners Chongqing Changan Automobile and Mazda although he suggested Ford would remain its mainstream brand for the market.
The arrival of new, good quality, low cost cars in China will help drive sales growth in the coming years. In the past, the cheaper Chinese domestic brands have used older generation technology no longer used by foreign brands to develop their product ranges.
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