By on April 9, 2017


Ford’s Mark Fields had plenty of positive things to say about last week’s meeting between Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping. After spending months of his campaign accusing China of stealing American jobs, Trump left the conference optimistic at the prospect of improving the relationship between the two countries.

That’s welcome news for Ford, which wants to dramatically expand its presence in Asia over the coming years. The automaker has already decided to launch Lincoln models in the Asian market, hoping to piggyback off Buick and Cadillac’s success in China. On Thursday Fields also outlined a company decision to have 70 percent of all Ford nameplates sold in China by 2025 be part or fully electric — helping the company meet stricter emission standards and maintain volume in the East. 

Of course, those plans are all nearly worthless if China decides to play hardball with Western automakers. “There’s huge, enormous mutual ties between the two countries from a trade standpoint,” Fields said during an event to explain Ford’s strategy to boost pickup sales in China. “We have to tread very carefully on that because the economic relationship is the basis of the overall relationship.”

China’s current policies require foreign automakers to establish joint ventures in order to manufacture vehicles within the country and also impose tariffs on imported cars. Those tariffs, in conjunction with dealer markups, have placed some of Ford’s vehicles at ridiculously high price points. A recent press release showed that imported Raptors cost around $19,000 more in China than they do on the domestic market. That’s not going to cut it for a company that is dead set on making pickups popular in Asia. However, the country has only just begun allowing light trucks inside the city limits of a small number of urban areas.

Field’s says Ford would rather not limit itself to 50 percent ownership of its Chinese business and needs those pickup restrictions lessened so it can effectively deliver on its plan to introduce the rest of the F-Series lineup — and eventually the Ranger in 2018. He’s hoping the meeting between Trump and Xi will be a step in the right direction.

“When you have two leaders meet face to face, they become people to each other,” Fields said in an interview with Bloomberg in Shanghai. “That’s a very firm foundation to then go off and make concrete advances to strengthen the ties between the two countries. I feel that’s very possible.”

[Image: Ford Motor Company]

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48 Comments on “Ford CEO Mark Fields Seems Stoked to Send More Product to China, Especially Trucks...”

  • avatar

    China is already a huge market for Ford and eventually will outsell the USA.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    It would be great to see the US export fullsize pickups to China.

    Ah ……. but the chicken tax???

    Will the US accept Chinese midsizers.

    In Australia we have the Foton Tunland. From the reviews I’ve read they are not that bad.

    I saw an add the other day for $29 990AUD ($22 500USD) for blinged, leather, crew cab 4x4s.

    These have Dana axles, Getrag gearboxes, Borg Warner tx cases, Bosch electronics and a Cummins diesel.

    There will need to be some give and take on both sides, especially if Mark Fields wants fair access to the Chinese market.

    This doesn’t take into account the Chinese Ranger, which is similarly priced with the Tunland.

    I foresee the UAW causing a problem or two.

    I say fnck the UAW. If they want input then maybe the can buy FCA or start their own auto manufacturing business. But it would fail.

    • 0 avatar

      Chicken tax applies to exporting from N.A.? WTF?

      Fosters must be on sale.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        To facilitate trade and assist the US in creating a larger fullsize pickup market in China the chicken taxwould pose an issue.

        This would mean the Chinese would expect the same or similar from the US.

        • 0 avatar

          @Big Al from Oz
          Chicken, Pig or Duck Tax has nothing to do with it. Fields would like to sell the Thai built Ranger in China. Like other OEM’s , he is caught between a rock and a hard place. Can only do that if he has a 50/50 partnership with a Chinese Company. Strangely not one of the many 1 Tonne producers are keen to do that. Cannot blame them.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            Read my comment prior to dispersimg one of your out there comments of little meaning.







        • 0 avatar

          “Throw away” trucks would just have to be cheap enough.

          A “light truck” trade agreement wouldn’t make things even. F-series would sell exponentially more in China, than Chinese pickups in the US.

          Just like Chinese tools, power equipment, etc, they definitely have their place in the market.

          Say a chop saw. They’re good for one remodel, room addition, DIY project, etc., then throw it away.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al From 'Murica

      “In Australia we have the Foton Tunland. From the reviews I’ve read they are not that bad.”

      Boy aren’t we missing out…I know all sorts of people that are just clamoring to buy a truck that is “not that bad”.

      They could sign Wilford Brimley as the spokesman. “The Futon Tunland…It will do SOME of the things you want your truck to do.”

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        L’il Al,
        Under $25 000 US for the Tunland 4×4 diesel crew cab, leather and bling.

        It would raise an interest in the US.

        I think 3 000 sell a year here at the moment. That would translate to 45 000 in the US. This is an under represented and distorted US market.

      • 0 avatar

        I actually looked it up and read a review of the thing, I gotta say if one can get over the uneasy feeling of buying a Chinese vehicle, there’s a lot to like about the Foton: Cummins diesel engine, Dana rear axle with a mechanical LSD. Getrag manual gearbox, Borg Warner transfer case.

        $22k converted straight across to USD, and that’s the one with leather seats.

        A diesel crew cab Colorado Z71 4wd goes for about $41k locally, and you can’t even get a stick shift.

        • 0 avatar

          It is very similar to other Asian Pickups, but it is built in China. Chinese Automotive parts and a lot of their are things are well..dicey. Cheap yes, reliable probably, but canal so fall apart fairly easily.Depends on what the quality or lack of it is at the factory.

          Speaking of the Colorado, here is a photo I took of the current updated Global Colorado, a lot less ” bulbous” than the first one.

    • 0 avatar


      “These have Dana axles, Getrag gearboxes, Borg Warner tx cases, Bosch electronics and a Cummins diesel.”


      All of those components are built in CHINA!

      Talk about spin!

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        Really. Why is it you addressed me the other day as Big Al. bafo? Flaming? How about I address you as fnckwit?

        Lou, grow the knck up.

        You are talking nonsense regarding Chinese content.

        How much Chinese content is already in the average US made vehicle?

        Even the 2 Star ENCAP safety rated Mustang has a Chinese Getrag.

        Learn the industry or research.

        • 0 avatar

          Now this is the kind of witty commentary and valuable information we need more of at TTAC! /s

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            It’s not hard to see how Lou is trolling.

            gte gave a level headed and positive response to my comment and Lou comes out with an absurd comment.

            This has been how Lou rolls and trollsHe a fnckwit. Period.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al From 'Murica

            It isn’t totally ridiculous Al. We are talking about the truck market where we drop things in the beds from 10 feet up to show how tough they are compared to the competition. If you don’t think automakers will exploit the made in China angle and link the truck to cheap Wal Mart crap you are crazy. Yes I am aware some vehicles sold here are made in China and many have Chinese components. The ads won’t mention that. Plus you are simply name-dropping. Nobody has cited reliability metrics compared to say, a HiLux.

          • 0 avatar
            Guitar man

            >>”A recent press release showed that imported Raptors cost around $19,000 more in China than they do on the domestic market.”<<

            They are well north of $100k in Australia – no import restrictions whatsoever.


            Dream on. The F series is too wide and doesn’t comply with regulations in China or any other asian country. That’s why the Hilux and Ranger are so narrow.

            >>”That’s not going to cut it for a company that is dead set on making pickups popular in Asia”<<

            They already make up about half the market in China.

  • avatar

    “Field’s (sic) says Ford would rather not limit itself to 50 percent ownership of its Chinese business..”

    It stay half Chinee-ese if you don’t please.

    Doesn’t appear Ford has much leverage when their priciple money maker is big, dumb, pushrod BOFs that would be the easiest class of vehicle for Chinese to copy should their populace ever have the means and desire to demand them in significant quantities.

    Hence the electrification pipedream, but the Chinese and other more pliant JV partners can do that too.

    • 0 avatar

      The Chinese government is very heavily vested in EVs and ecological efforts because the smog in the big cities is killing their own people.

      The Red Chinese are a Communist totalitarian government that directs everything in a top down approach. Whatever the government decides flows downward and is implemented.

      As such, the government retains full control of everything, including which cars will be allowed to be sold in China.

      A better approach would be to court India for most-favorable US automaker status. But then Ford would have to focus on making RHD vehicles.

      • 0 avatar

        I think Field is chasing Rainbows. The Communists want 50% ownership on any Automotive venture, that is not going to change.
        Ford does have operations in India and theAustralian Ford design team has cars and SUV’s specifically designed for India. That is what they primarily do, design cars for China, SE Asia, and India.
        Maybe it was a mistake by Matt Posky, but Ford does not sell the Ranger in China
        Some questionable phrases
        “making pickups popular in Asia” They are already sell vast numbers in Asia,
        “Raptors were $19,000 higher” These were a boutique sale to the Chinese middle classes
        Best of luck doing this.
        “Ford Motor Co (F.N) plans to launch its mid-size Ranger pickup truck in China in 2018, hoping to draw more Chinese consumers, who generally prefer sport-utility vehicles (SUVs), towards a new segment of cars.

        Ford would import the Ranger to China and currently has no plans to manufacture it locally, a spokeswoman said.”

        • 0 avatar

          Geeze a Ford pick up article brings out every kind, even more than one of the same kind.

          Must be lots of bridges in every Ford truck related article.

        • 0 avatar

          RobertRyan, I know about China’s 50% ownership demand. Coupled with the fact that the product would be assembled in China, it effectively gives China a 51+% majority stake, and say so.

          I’m holding out hope that Trump can remedy the trade imbalance the US has with China. The problem as I see it is that China is still a developing country that wants to export its products, but at the same time limit their imports.

          Selling more American brand vehicles in China is a good thing for the US, but in my mind I am asking why would China buy US brand vehicles when they have so many other choices?

          American brand vehicles are fine for Americans but not exactly “world class”, as is pointed out to us time and again by other countries.

          • 0 avatar

            They will buy anything as long as it is made in China. If not you pay a hefty fortune to get it imported.
            Rangers are made in Thailand, South Africa and maybe Argentina?. Global Colorado Thailand

          • 0 avatar

            RobertRyan, that’s the way I see it too. I sure hope that Trump can actually effect changes in the import procedures for the US, like tax what’s coming IN to the US but not tax what is going OUT.

            For far too long, other countries have taxed our exports (their imports) to the point where they’re not competitive.

            If Trump would do that, I bet other countries would drop the taxes they levy on our export products, real fast.

          • 0 avatar

            All this talk of trade imbalance.

            Why do people just believe what the politicians say and not look it up for themselves?

            Imbalances are corrected by purchasing stocks/bonds and debt in the country that is in a negative balance. That is how China keeps the value of their currency from rising. If you do too much of it, then that is called currency manipulation. If you do just enough to offset trade imbalances, then it is fine.

            “The U.S. debt to China is $1.051 trillion, as of January 2017. That’s 27.8 percent of the $3.8 trillion in Treasury bills, notes, and bonds held by foreign countries.”

      • 0 avatar

        There’s absolutely nothing communist about China at all, HDC. Any pretense of them being communist died in the ’70s.

        We’ve never seen actual communism on this Earth and probably never will, unless economic scarcity ceases to exist. If that happens, then the whole idea of a classless society *might* prove workable (and that’s a big “might”). But scarcity inevitably causes inequality, and when that sets in, it’s curtains for whatever semblance of Marx’s ideas were ever implemented in the first place.

        You get something like what you see in China – what amounts to an aristocracy made up of a small, unelected ruling body. Whatever you call that, it ain’t communism.

        • 0 avatar

          To them it still is Communism with a free market. Still a very rigid Dictatorship

          • 0 avatar

            Whatever they call it, or whatever they think of it as, the Chinese economy isn’t even remotely communist. If it were, then no one would be talking about how luxury brands are finding success there.

            It’s more of a “ruling authoritarian council” than a dictatorship, in the sense that one unelected group rules absolutely, but the power isn’t concentrated in the hands of one person.

        • 0 avatar

          FreedMike, China is/was a Communist nation. The Communist manifesto may work better for China and North Korea than it did for the USSR and Viet Nam whose people longed for all the freedoms of a Western Democracy, a la Europe.

          The Red Chinese Communist government may talk like they want Western rights and freedoms, but only as long as control remains at the top echelons of their Communist government.

          China is only good for three things: excellent Chinese food, the annual influenza epidemic, and cheaply made, disposable goods.

          • 0 avatar

            Four things: They’re also really good at stealing our technology and ideas. Would cite recent article detailing how Chinese are investing in tech companies to steal technology and ideas, but I’m too lazy to track it down (there will be more articles to come, I’d bet).

          • 0 avatar

            carguy67, You’re right. But that’s how it is done.

            Before the Chinese it was Japanese investment firms buying up American suppliers, manufacturers and real estate.

            On the Eastern seaboard we see a lot of Russian investment.

            You don’t have to track it down. Industrial espionage and technology-theft are pretty much an established fact around the globe.

            Too bad the Chinese could not be coerced in to taking GM’s carcass off our hands in 2009.

          • 0 avatar

            The “USA” government may talk like they want “delete” rights and freedoms, but only as long as control remains at the top echelons of their “delete” government.

            Why was their a huge outcry to drain the swamp?

            As freedmike has pointed out, China is communist in name only.

    • 0 avatar

      That’s “big, dumb, /OHC/ BOFs” to you.

    • 0 avatar

      Which current Ford truck engine is pushrod?

      I’ll wait.

    • 0 avatar

      “Doesn’t appear Ford has much leverage when their priciple money maker is big, dumb, pushrod BOFs”

      That would be GM.

      All of Ford’s current motors are overhead cam engines. No push-rods.

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