Ford’s China EV Business to Be Run as Independent Firm

The China arm of American multinational automobile manufacturer Ford announced on September 26 that it would work to accelerate electric transformation in the country by operating its EV business through FMeT, an independent company. Before this, Ford had directly set up its own electric vehicle division in China.

Ford’s announcement said that FMeT is the first independent entity in the Chinese market established by a foreign automobile brand to focus on the R&D and operation of smart electric vehicles, and that it is also a strategic extension and key layout component of the Ford Model e business unit in China.

Mustang Mach-E (Source: Ford)

According to public information, FMeT was established in 2020 with a registered capital of $665 million. Ford China and Nanjing Jiangning Jingkai Industrial Development Co., Ltd. hold 81.2% and 18.8% of the shares of the company respectively. On September 19, FMeT changed its scope of business to include sales of automobiles, manufacturing of electric motors, manufacturing of auto parts, accessories, and more.

Unlike the previous distribution model, FMeT will adopt direct selling in China. This approach is also in line with the common trend of the major new car makers at present. By entering business districts and opening direct sales stores in China, brand awareness will be promoted. This is exactly what Ford needs under current circumstances.

Territory EV (Source: Ford)

According to the brand’s official website, Ford currently owns three new energy vehicles, including the Territory EV, the Edge plug-in hybrid and the Mustang Mach-E. So far, these products have not received much attention in the Chinese market.

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Among them, the Mustang Mach-E was launched in China in 2021, and it is the world’s first all-electric SUV model made by Ford. It is regarded as the representative model of Ford’s electric transformation of Mustang. At present, there are four versions of the Mustang Mach-E on sale, with prices ranging from 275,900 yuan to 389,900 yuan ($38,503 – $54413). Delivery started last December. But over the past six months, the sales volume of the Mustang Mach-E in the Chinese market has not improved. Statistics show that the firm delivered 3,576 units of this model in the first half of this year, with an average monthly sales volume of less than 600 vehicles.

In addition, Ford’s Mustang Mach-E also once fell into a recall storm. In July this year, Ford’s Chinese subsidiary announced the recall of two batches of vehicles, partly due to safety inspection software problems and partly due to high-voltage relay problems. The two batches of vehicles recalled a total of 775 vehicles.

China’s electric vehicle market is still growing at a high speed. According to data from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM), the domestic sales of new energy vehicles in the first half of 2022 reached 2.6 million, representing a year-on-year increase of approximately 120%.