Ford could be about to follow the lead of General Motors by building electric vehicles in China. Ford already has advance plans to produce electric and hybrid versions of certain models such as the Ford Focus, but these will predominantly be for the US and European markets. Analysts predict the electric vehicle market is only going to grow China - a slice of action Ford will be keen to become involved in.
As part of plans to reduce its overall emissions, Asia is looking to introduce technologies that will help it achieve a greener environment. The plan includes adding one million electric vehicles into the infrastructure by 2015, lowering emissions and the dependence on fossil fuels. On the same token, Ford is also looking to increase its global sales by 50 per cent by the same year.
Ford only accounts for 2.7 per cent of the market in China, well behind rival company GM at 10 per cent. After GM announced last week that it was planning to produce EVs in China, and with Ford looking to catch up in terms of sales, producing EVs in China could be the way to go for Ford. Ford CEO Alan Mulally recently hinted at the direction, saying
"As we move to more electrification, you’re going to see more hybrids, plug-in hybrids and all-electric cars."
Ford has previously announced it is developing four new engine plants in China as part of a $1.6 billion investment in an effort to boost sales. Mr Mulally was recently in the country to kick off the construction of one such plant, in partnership with Changan Automobile Group, that will produce transmissions.
Reports say Ford may introduce its luxury brand, Lincoln, into the country to further bolster sales.