If you are a regular BSCB reader you will know by now that the future growth potential of the Chinese market lies in secondary cities and countryside regions. Another illustration of this potential is the race for dealerships in this part of the country. According to Automotive News, over the span of just one day – June 19 – Ford opened no less than 88 dealerships in China, bringing its total to 750 outlets there. The bulk of those stores are, you would have guessed it, in up-and-coming lower tier cities. About three-quarters of the outlets operated by its local joint venture, Changan Ford Automobile Co., are now in Tier 4 cities or smaller.
Automotive News says “the June 19 blitz was so important for the Detroit manufacturer that CEO Alan Mulally, who will leave Ford in less than three weeks, flew in to oversee the christening of one shop, the Shanghai Jiuhua West Dealership. As a latecomer to China, Ford is expanding by leaps and bounds to become a top player. Its strategy hinges on stealing a lead in smaller cities primed for explosive growth and in areas such as the central and western parts of the country just starting to take off. Ford’s China sales soared 39 percent to 461,473 vehicles in the first five months of 2014.”
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