Thursday, September 16, 2010

Ford to Export Canadian-Made Edge SUV to China

Now here's something you don't hear very often these days; a North American-made product exported to China. Yes, it's actually true - even though we're not sure how long it will last for... Ford has announced that the recently refreshed in the States Edge sport utility vehicle, which is built in Ontario, Canada, is on its way to the company's dealers in China with sales set to start in October.

Ford Motor China Vice President Nigel Harris told reporters that the automaker expects modest sales of 4,000 to 5,000 examples of the Edge per year.

However, crossover-sport utility sales in China have been doubling every two years and are already up more than 90 percent in the first seven months of this year, according to the Dearborn-based automaker, so there's a good chance Ford may be able to sell more cars in the long-term.

Currently, SUV sales account for about 14 percent of China's passenger car market, but Ford's research shows 25 percent of car owners in the country would consider a crossover / sport utility vehicle for their next purchase.

"It's a market clearly that we've got to be in, and something that we're particularly good at," said Harris.

The new five-seater Edge will join the Fiesta supermini, Focus compact, Mondeo mid-size sedan, S-Max people carrier and the Transit commercial van in Ford's China market lineup. According to Harris, more cars will be added to the company's range in the near future.

Ford currently ranks 11th in brand sales in China, but its sales have grown from 28,000 vehicles in 2003 when it first entered the country to 164,000 unit last year. Still, that's a far cry from GM's 1.5 million vehicles sold in the first eight months of the year.

Source: Businessweek