For many automakers the Chinese market is so hot right now. A rising middle-class has been rapidly accelerating car ownership for several years. While several manufacturers are struggling in traditional markets, they are seeing profits in China. Of course in order for a non-Chinese company to sell cars in the country the brand must partner with a local company. On June 19 Changan-Ford opened 88 dealerships bringing the brand's total to 750 in China.
From China Economic.net-
The Sino-US joint venture was established in April 2001 by the world's leading carmaker, Ford Motor Company, and the century old Chinese company Changan Automobile Co Ltd.
Changan Ford President and CEO Marin Burela said: "We expect to exceed 800 dealer points in China by the end of 2014."
The company is "committed to bring the latest vehicles, superior services and customer ownership experience through the professional, highly-skilled, customer-oriented dealerships," said Burela.
Ford Motor Co Global CEO Alan Mulally said that "each dealer plays an important role in the local community, by offering great jobs, contributing to the local economy."
All of Changan Ford's dealers are required to participate in extensive training and certification programs before opening. Changan Ford helps deliver major aspects of its technical training in partnership with 19 top vocational schools and universities across China through its "School to Work" programs.
The joint venture has sold 332,813 vehicles between January and May, which is 42.5 percent more than in the same period last year, and has manufactured 333,519, up 43.9 percent year-on-year, according to a report Chongqing Changan Automobile Co Ltd filed to the Shenzhen Stock Exchange last month.
Last year Changan Ford sold 678,951 vehicles, a year-on-year growth of 62 percent over 2012.
According to GoodCarBadCar.net Ford sold about about 2.5 million cars in the US last year and sales were up 11.2%. Given the rapid growth of the Chinese market, and the shift towards more "global platforms," I think it is only a matter of time before we see cars in the US from brands like Ford and GM with some Chinese influence and/or part sharing.