A J.D. Power Perspective on Ford’s Dramatic Sales Climb in China

Tim Dunne

Tim Dunne

Although Ford is somewhat of a late bloomer in the China auto market, the Detroit-based automaker is set to outpace major Japanese competitors such as Toyota and Honda Groups in passenger-vehicle sales in the China market this year, according to media reports. The major U.S. automaker still is behind General Motors and Volkswagen Group auto sales in the China market.

A Ford official told Reuters that it is possible the company will sell more than 900,000 units in 2013—including both passenger cars and commercial vehicles—in the world’s largest auto market, mainly due to a stronger product lineup. Small SUVs, including the Ford EcoSport and Kuga, have sold well and a redesigned Focus has been on sale since last year. Continue reading ›

China Continues to Restrict Auto Sales to Curb Smog Levels

Tim Dunne

In order to reduce traffic congestion and pollution, China has been curbing new passenger-vehicle sales in mainly Tier I cities—Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Guiyang—by limiting the number of license plates issued and selling them to consumers through auctions and lotteries.

Recently, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers said it hopes to . . . Continue Reading China Continues to Restrict Auto Sales to Curb Smog Levels

GM Touts Opening of Major Proving Ground in China

Tim Dunne

General Motors Corp. and several partners just opened what they claim is the largest proving ground in China, built with an investment of RMB 1.6 billion ($253 million). The Guangde Proving Ground in Guangde County, Anhui, located west of Shanghai, features 37 miles of test roads, and some of the industry’s most advanced technologies and processes, according to a GM China official.

Two of the partners, Shanghai GM and the Pan Asia Technical Automotive Center (PATAC), will direct the proving ground’s operation. The proving ground, which features eight test areas including an oval track, vehicle dynamics test area, ride and handling loop, and noise test road, among others, can accommodate up to 140 vehicles for testing simultaneously. In addition, it has 23,000 square meters (247,569 square feet) of auxiliary space for labs, repair facilities and private workshops.

GM was among the earliest and has been the most active investor in R&D development in China. The PATAC facility is among the biggest—if not the absolute largest—foreign automotive R&D center in China where vehicles and vehicle components are designed and developed. Continue reading ›

New China Duty Only Impacts Makers of Vehicles with Larger Engines

 

Tim Dunne

China’s Ministry of Commerce (in mid-December) announced that it would begin to impose—effective immediately and continuing for two years—a new duty on cars imported from the United States. The duty, which the Chinese government said is to offset unfair government subsidies and a policy of dumping on the Chinese market by US manufacturers, will affect only vehicles with engines larger than 2.5 liters. The duty will range from between 2-21.5%, with the rate increasing as the size of the vehicle’s engine increases.

Given that China’s automotive market is the world’s largest—and that General Motors Company and Ford Motor Co. are both heavily dependent on China for future growth—it might appear at first glance that the new policy could put a significant dent in their China ambitions. But the truth is the new policy is more political posturing and negotiating theater, rather than an actual effort to stem alleged illegal trade practices. Continue reading ›

Models from Japanese Makers Rank Highest in Seven Segments

Models from Japanese automakers rank highest in seven of 11 award segments in this year’s China Initial Quality Study. Models of Chinese domestic brands rank highest in initial quality in the mini van and lower premium midsize segments. The study features analysis on 155 different passenger-vehicle models covering 56 different makes. Continue reading ›

Quality Gap Between Passenger Vehicles and Pickups Narrows In South Africa

In its most recent study on the initial quality of passenger vehicles and pickup trucks in South Africa, J.D. Power records major improvements compared to the last time the study was conducted. In fact, the evaluation of 228 problem symptoms across nine factors* finds that the initial quality gap between passenger vehicles and pickup . . . Continue Reading Quality Gap Between Passenger Vehicles and Pickups Narrows In South Africa