BEIJING (Reuters) – Ford Motor Co <F.N> said its China vehicle sales increased 3% in April-June from a year earlier, its first quarterly sales rise in the world’s bigggest auto market in almost three years.
Ford has been seeking to recover from a slump in sales unprecedented for a major global automaker in China, with sales sinking 26% last year after a 37% drop in 2018.
Company sources have previously said those sales were hurt by an aging model lineup, a breakdown in relationships with its joint venture partners and dealers, as well as missteps by past management teams.
China sales for the second quarter climbed to 158,589 units, Ford said in a statement, attributing the rise to a stronger vehicle lineup including new sport-utility vehicles and locally-made luxury Lincoln cars and “strong demand following the lifting of COVID-19 pandemic restrictions”.
By contrast, rival General Motors <GM.N> said its sales in China for the quarter declined 5.3% to 713,600 units.
Industry-wide vehicle wholesale sales rose 4.4% in April and 14.5% in May and are expected to grow 11% in June, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers has said.
In China, Ford makes cars through its joint ventures with Chongqing Changan Automobile Co Ltd <000625.SZ> and Jiangling Motors Corp Ltd (JMC) <000550.SZ>.
In the United States, where sales have been hit by lockdowns and travel restrictions, Ford’s sales plunged 33% during the quarter.
(Reporting by Yilei Sun and Brenda Goh; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)