Ford China sales slide in March, GM’s grow

Ford China sales slide in March, GM’s grow
Ian Thibodeau, The Detroit News 1:59 p.m. ET April 13, 2017

Ford Motor Co. saw overall sales decrease compared to the same month a year ago in the world’s largest auto market.(Photo: Karen Bleier / Getty Images)
General Motors Co.’s said its March sales in China were the largest spike upward in months, while crosstown rival Ford Motor Co. saw overall sales decrease compared to the same month a year ago in the world’s largest auto market.
Ford and its joint ventures sold 90,457 vehicles in March, a 21 percent drop from the previous period. Ford attributed the sales nosedive in China to a “weaker retail industry” after a cut to Chinese tax incentives for certain vehicles. Ford sold 255,261 vehicles in the first quarter of 2017, down 19 percent compared to the same time a year ago.
Meanwhile, GM and its joint ventures sold a record 345,448 vehicles in March, a 16 percent increase from March 2016. GM said the sales increase was the largest increase since last August.
“SUVs, MPVs and luxury vehicles will help us further tap into the market’s growth potential,” GM Executive Vice President and GM China President Matt Tsien said in a statement. “We will continue to expand and upgrade our offerings across segments. Many of our new models will be on display at this month’s Auto Shanghai 2017.”
The Detroit automaker said its Buick, Cadillac and Baojun brand sales all hit new sales records in March, with SUVs carrying the brand in the country.
Buick sales increased by 21 percent to a record 88,519 vehicles sold; Cadillac sales jumped 63 percent to 12,369 vehicles sold; and GM’s Baojun brand spiked 81 percent to 81,353 vehicles sold.
Ford said the company said its is still seeing demand for its larger vehicles in China. Despite the overall sales slip for March and the first quarter, sales of the Dearborn automaker’s Everest, Edge and Taurus all increased in the first quarter of the year compared to last year. Ford’s Lincoln luxury brand sales doubled to 12,000 vehicles sold compared the the first quarter 2016.
“We continue to see strong demand from Chinese customers for our premium Taurus large sedan, Edge and Everest SUVs and performance vehicles in the first quarter,” Peter Fleet, vice president of Ford’s Asia Pacific marketing, sales and service, said in a statement. “We are pleased with the momentum that Lincoln continues to make in China, as evidenced by its outstanding performance in the first quarter ”
Ford also released March sales results for the European market, where the company saw a 14 percent increase in sales over last year, moving 199,900 vehicles. The company’s SUVs and commercial vehicles boost the brand there.

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