Ford will leave Japan and Indonesia by the end of the year, citing low sales and an unlikely route to profitability.
Overnight the company confirmed that it will withdraw from Indonesia, closing all dealerships and halting imports, during the second half of 2016.
A spokeswoman told Reuters that “in Indonesia, without local manufacturing … there’s just really no way that automakers can compete in that market, and we do not have local manufacturing”.
At present Ford retails the Fiesta, Focus, EcoSport, Everest and Ranger through 44 dealerships. The company reportedly sold 6100 cars last year in Australia’s northern neighbour, equating to a market share of 0.6 percent.
The blue oval brand will also pack up its bags and leave Japan.
According to CNBC, Ford spokesman Neal McCarthy went on the record, stating, “Japan is the most closed, developed auto economy in the world, with all imported brands accounting for less than six percent of Japan’s annual new car market”.
He added that despite the recently agreed, but not fully ratified, Trans-Pacific Partnership, Ford doesn’t see a “reasonable path to sustained profitability”. The free trade agreement includes Australia, the US, Japan, Mexico, Malaysia and seven other nations.
Ford has had a presence in the Japanese market since 1974. According to the Reuters, the company has 52 dealerships in the land of the rising sun, and sold around 5000 cars there in 2015. That equates to around 1.5 percent of the imported new car market, which in itself is just a fraction of the overall market.
Up until the early 2000s, Ford sold rebadged and sometimes extensively redesigned models from Mazda. Some of these vehicles made their way down under, including the popular Ford Laser, Telstar and Courier.
As part of company’s aggressive restructuring in 2008, the company sold of most of its 33.4 percent stake in Mazda, as well as divesting itself of luxury brands Aston Martin, Volvo, Jaguar and Land Rover.
As part of the One Ford policy, which focusses primarily on developing products that can be sold throughout the world, today’s Ford range in Japan includes the Fiesta, Focus, Mustang, EcoSport, Kuga and Explorer, as well as the Lincoln MKX and Navigator.