guangzhou, China — Riding high on robust sales in China, Ford powers into Auto Guangzhou 2012 with a fresh line-up led by the new Fiesta, which is making its first appearance in Asia.
Ford also is announcing that it will provide customers with an advanced system that automatically contacts the emergency services via a dedicated call centre in the event of an accident. Ford is the first automaker to provide this feature for free for the life of the vehicle.
Ford has been accelerating its growth in China and is banking on the full stable of vehicles on display at the show – including an expanded SUV line-up fronted by the all-new Ford Kuga and all-new Ford EcoSport – to continue the momentum.
“We’re so pleased to provide these new vehicles from our global portfolio to our Chinese customers,” said David Schoch, chairman and CEO, Ford China. “The high standards in design, quality, safety, fuel economy and technology behind these vehicles signal Ford’s commitment to the new global brand promise to Go Further.”
The new Fiesta is one of the cars which symbolises Ford’s efforts to speed up the introduction of global products to the China market. Shown in a sedan version in Metropolitan Gray at the show, the redesigned stylish compact features design cues inspired by the latest Ford global design language and concept vehicles.
The Fiesta’s face is dominated by a trapezoidal front grille – a signature of Ford’s new global family – bracketed by laser-cut headlamps with daytime running lamps that use LED technology. The power-dome bonnet design adds to the changes, giving the car a sportier and more modern appearance.
Emergency Assistance – free for life
Debuting in China on the all-new Ford Kuga, the Emergency Assistance feature was developed as part of the award-winning Ford SYNC® system. Emergency Assistance is able to accurately determine the location of the Ford vehicle using the vehicle’s on-board GPS unit. The system, which supports English and Mandarin, contacts the call centre with an introductory message and communicates to the operator that a crash has occurred at a precise location.
SYNC utilises the customer’s existing mobile phone, which means no additional monthly fees or subscriptions are required for Emergency Assistance. Unlike embedded systems in some competitors’ vehicles, Emergency Assistance allows the occupant to leave the car and continue the call with emergency services on the mobile phone.
SYNC is already available on more than 5 million cars globally and the introduction of the Mandarin version in China will help take the company a step further towards its target of 13 million SYNC customers worldwide by 2015.
The all-new Kuga and all-new EcoSport are part of Ford’s plan to broaden its offerings in China with the introduction of 15 new vehicles and 20 new engines and transmissions by 2015.
This strategy undergirds Ford’s strong sales in China. Ford posted its second consecutive sales record in China last month, October. Led by strong sales of the Ford Focus – the best-selling passenger car in China in August and September – Ford sold 60,518 wholesale vehicles in October, a 48 percent increase compared to October 2011.
To meet the continued demand in China, Ford has increased investment in new manufacturing facilities. Ford and its joint venture Changan Ford Mazda Automobile already operate two assembly plants in Chongqing, with another engine plant and a transmission plant under construction. This makes Chongqing the largest global manufacturing location for Ford outside Michigan.
Ford has five manufacturing facilities in China that are currently operating, and together with its partners, it is building five more.