As part of a broader push to curtail falling sales figures in China, Ford will be launching 15 new electrified models there by 2025, company execs have revealed. Altogether, though, it should be noted that Ford is planning to launch 50 new vehicles in China by 2025 — so the planned electrified models comprise less than a third of the new models.
The announcement, made at an event in Shanghai, comes as no real surprise when one considers the pressure that regulators in China have begun to place on the auto manufacturers selling there to release more electric and hybrid vehicles (so-called “new energy vehicles”).
“Between now and 2025, we will launch 50 new vehicles in China, and of those 50 new vehicles, 15 of them will be all-new electrified vehicles,” commented Peter Fleet, the head of Ford Asia Pacific. Fleet also noted that the utility vehicle segment was expected to grow considerably; and that the company’s revenue in the region was expected to grow by 50% over the same period of time.
Of course, “electrified” doesn’t mean fully electric and doesn’t even mean the vehicles will all have plugs. Ford and others have started using this term to capture fully electric cars, plug-in hybrids, and conventional hybrids. In a time when fully electric cars are becoming so popular, with momentum growing by the day, and are being highlighted as solutions to air pollution and global warming crises, automakers that highlight their “electrified” vehicle plans and progress may be trying to tease out more praise and good press than they deserve.
Meanwhile, China has put fairly strong EV quotas in place that will hit the market in 2019. Automakers that want to be in and doing well in the largest automobile market on the planet have to electrify. Many of them are also partnering with Chinese companies (as pushed by China regulations) for their electric efforts, especially when those electric efforts global initiatives as much as narrow efforts to remain in China. Ford, for example, has partnered with Chinese firm Anhui Zotye Automobile on its Chinese EV work.
“We’ve never seen change like we do today,” noted Ford Executive Chairman Bill Ford. “Everything is being disrupted.” That last bit of course is also a reference to the potential of self-driving vehicles, on-demand taxi and ridesharing services, and also plug-in electric vehicles to reduce sales and market share for the firm.
Reuters provides more: “The US automaker is undergoing a broad review of its China operations, part of a strategic re-think under new Chief Executive Officer Jim Hackett, which will likely see the company focus on electric commercial vans as well as electric cars.”
Ford continued by stating: “It’s clearly the case that China will lead the world in EV development, and so we at Ford are investing enormous amounts of money both here in China and globally to bring electrification into fruition.”
Presumably, that sentiment had something to do with Ford sacking previous CEO Mark Fields a few months back, who was seen as moving too slowly on the electric front.
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