By on November 23, 2012

Ford will have to deviate from its “One Ford” strategy if it wants to break into the Chinese market in a serious way, says Reuters. Ford is developing what it calls a “Value B” model that is aimed at the increasingly important sub $10,000 market in China. And that’s only the beginning …

According to Ford executives, the “Value B” car will rival the 57,000 yuan ($9,100) Chevrolet Sail, which is the second-best selling vehicle in China. The best selling car is the Ford Focus, but only by a sleigh of hand: While the new “global” Focus is grabbing headlines, the older and cheaper “classic” Focus is making volume. Then, sales of both are added to look good in the stats.

If launching a China-specific car qualifies as two Fords, Ford will have to get used to the thought of three Fords. As discussed here several times, the Chinese government wants its joint ventures to venture into China-only brands, and even a Ford won’t succeed in resisting governmental charms.

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12 Comments on “Instead of One Ford, There Could Be Two, Three Fords In China...”

  • avatar

    “two, three, many Vietnams” was the mass murderer Cuban revolutionary Che Guevara, not the mass murderer Chinese dictator Mao Zedung.

  • avatar

    So you don’t think a low-cost car designed for China might also be of interest in India, Brazil, Russia, etc? No reason this would have to be specific to China.

    • 0 avatar

      I don’t know about India and Brazil But, i think Russians would be quite angry to have downgraded cars. They have good choices right now and they sell.
      It’s not like they live in some back water place. Quite the opposite. They can afford new cars. They also would know if they were getting a second rate model.

      Many of them have bad experiences with old soviet cars, and post Soviet Russian cars. Neither good. Anyone remember that Russian company that bought the tooling to the sebring. Yeah…

  • avatar

    One Ford has always been a dead end, ignorant plan by someone who doesn’t know what they’re doing.

    Edge/Lincoln Edge
    Flex/Lincoln Flex
    Taurus/Lincoln Taurus

    Are all NOT on global platforms. And even cars that are, we don’t get variants like the Focus wagon. Add to that the different power trains all over the world and it’s clear that One Ford was a ploy to dupe investors into believing Ford actually has a plan to being a legitimate, healthy company.

    Clearly they don’t.

    • 0 avatar

      Well, at least they DID cut some fat. But the One Ford strategy is a farce. Here in Argentina we STILL don’t have the global Focus. It’s been two years Ford, how much are we going to wait? Even worse is that Ford still hasn’t decided where to build the Focus for Latin America, so we might end up waiting another two years…

    • 0 avatar

      Ford has brought their A-game to small cars.

      I’m a small car guy by temperment, and that meant Japanese cars were the only good cars. I suffered through some bad cars (a Ford Tempo in particular), and that confirmed the view that the good cars weren’t made by Ford.

      Until Ford brought their world cars – auddenly they had something good!

      Yes, Ford makes good trucks and SUVs, but so what? Before One Ford, didn’t have a chance at my business when I was looking for a nornal car. Now I’m cross shopping them with Toyota.

      One Ford might bot matter to you, but its made them a competitor in my segments.

  • avatar

    So Ford is following the VW template for China? Could work if you get the right partners. I don’t see them having the same model depth that VW brings with all the different iterations of models that VW allowed.

  • avatar

    I thought “One Ford” was to try and harmonise what made sense in the Western World – i.e. the Fiesta, Focus, Mondeo and Kuga models. F-150, Explorer etc were not included as they are regional models. I didn`t think one Ford ever meant the exact same vehicles sold everywhere.

    • 0 avatar

      This. One Ford makes sense for developed economies where consumer tastes have pretty much converged for subcompact through midsize cars and CUVs. You have to have some regional outliers, especially for North America, as it would be pure stupidity not to sell pickups, SUVs, and full-size sedans there, even though Europe has no demand for such things, but most of the bread and butter products can be shared across markets.

      However, the demands of developing economies are so different, you really do have to accommodate with different models. It would be crazy to expect middle class Chinese consumers to be able to afford the same cars as middle class Western Europeans. “One Ford” really should be more like “Two and a Half Fords” – 1 product line for most developed markets, 1 for the developing world, and 1/2 extra for North America.

      • 0 avatar

        I agree, the article made it sound like Ford was “deviating” from some core, firmly held belief. When they have always had regional offerings and are now in core developed markets harmonising their cars. If this was another, Japanese, company it would be lauded as a clever approach into another market. But since it isn`t Toyota or Honda it doesn`t get written up that way.

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