United States based auto giant Ford will begin manufacturing of its iconic Mustang cars in China for the first time. With the company aiming to benefit from the booming electric vehicle (EV) market of China, Ford will start production of its Mustang Mach-E in the country later this year, the US carmaker said.
Tesla started delivery of its made in China Model Y to Chinese customers assembled at its Shanghai factory earlier this month.
Analysts have projected a strong surge in EV sales in China and Western auto brands are aggressively targeting to tap into the Chinese market with their line-up of electric vehicles.
The German car giant Volkswagen is also set to start delivery of vehicles manufactured at two newly-built Chinese factories dedicated to electric cars, the company said.
With more than two newly-built Chinese factories dedicated to electric cars, China is the biggest car market of the world.
Driven by a strong recovery in the global car market led by China, strong company results for 2020 were reported by Germany’s Daimler on Thursday. The rebound of the fortunes of the company in China were described by the Daimler boss Ola Källenius as almost “too good to be true”.
In a similar manner, Ford too is hoping to cash in on the economic recovery in China as well as from the push by the Chinese government to prod consumers to purchase more clean energy vehicles.
Analysts view the proposed new electric-powered Mustang, which has been designed as a sports utility vehicle (SUV), as an opportunity for Ford to stage a turnaround for years of sluggish sales in the Chinese market and better appease Chinese customers as the vehicles would be manufactured locally in China.
The price of the Mustang sports cars in China was quite high till now because they could only be imported which raised costs for consumers.
In March last year, its first made-in-China Lincoln vehicles was launched by Ford but the brand has not been able to capture as much of market share as the company would have liked compared to the premium rivals of the company.
The “Ford China 2.0,” a strategy was launched by Ford in 2019 under which the company pledged to make more products that are bespoke and aligned to meet tastes of customers of a particular market.
In a separate development, a major cash injection from a Chinese carmaker Geely and a group of state-owned companies was provided to California-based electric carmaker Faraday Future on Thursday. Failed Chinese tycoon Jia Yueting is the founder of Faraday Future and has been identified as the next Tesla. Investment of $1bn in the carmaker is expected to flow from about 30 institutional investors from China even as the company plans to get itself listed. The venture will fund the production of the FF91, a luxury electric car that was originally unveiled in 2017.
In 2019, the company’s founder Jia Yueting filed for personal bankruptcy and stepped down as the chief executive of Faraday.
(Adapted from WSJ.com)