In the world's fastest growing automotive markets, strong demand for Ford's products in China and India led to a 37% increase in August sales compared to a year ago.
Ford India tripled sales in August with 7,925 vehicles sold, a 220% increase compared to August 2009. In China, Ford and its joint ventures reported sales of 44,047 units in August, a 24% increase from August 2009. Combined, Ford sold 51,972 units in August, up 37% from the same month last year.
So far this year, Ford has sold 422,779 vehicles in the two countries combined, a 52% increase compared to January August 2009.
Ford expects 70% of its growth in the next ten years to come from its Asia Pacific and Africa region. Last week, Joe Hinrichs, president of Ford Asia Pacific and Africa, announced that Ford would bring eight new vehicles to India by mid-decade.
"As part of our 'better plan' for the region we are investing in additional capacity, expanding our dealer networks and further developing our supply chain. The growth potential in this part of the world in the next ten years is astounding. China will remain the largest car market in the world for the foreseeable future and we estimate India will be the third largest market in the world in the next ten years."
The company's Asia Pacific and Africa region encompasses markets on three continents, including Australia, China, India, Thailand and South Africa. Industry sales in the region will increase from 16 million units in 2009, to an estimated 35 million units by 2018.
Ford's combined sales in the Asia Pacific and Africa region so far this year, totaled more than 572,000 units, an increase of 42% compared to January August 2009. Ford has invested more than $3 billion since 2006 in the region and employs more than 25,000 people here.
In India, Ford has invested $500 million this year to double production capacity, launch the hot-selling Ford Figo, expand exports, and increase engine production capacity to 250,000 units.
It is building two new vehicle plants in China; one in Chongqing with its joint venture Changan Ford Mazda Automotive (CFMA), and one in Nanchang with Jiangling Motors Corp (JMC).The $300 million JMC assembly plant will have the capacity to produce up to 300,000 vehicles per year and will produce both Ford- and JMC-branded vehicles. A strategic partner in producing Commercial Vehicles in China, JMC is 30% owned by Ford.
Ford is aggressively expanding in Thailand as well. Construction is underway for a new $450 million Ford assembly plant scheduled for completion in 2012, and just last week Ford and Mazda Motor Corp. announced an investment of $350 million in their AutoAlliance Thailand joint venture to support the production of next generation pickup trucks.
Ford is also building a new engine plant in South Africa that will come on line next year, and investing in sustainability initiatives in Australia for the first RWD application of Ford's global EcoBoost technology, which will be available on the Falcon in 2011.