US automaker Ford said on Wednesday that it would separate its Chinese business unit in the Asia-Pacific region into an independent company to accelerate profitable growth.
Ford also named automotive industry veteran Anning Chen as chairman and chief executive officer of his company in China. Chen, formerly with Chery Jaguar Land Rover, takes over the newly created position on November 1 and reports to Jim Farley, president of Global Markets.
Chen will lead the company’s recovery plans to boost sales in China and create lasting value.
“Success in China is the key to repositioning our global operations for long-term success,” said Jim Hackett, president and CEO of Ford, in a statement. “With today’s actions, we are strengthening our involvement in the Chinese market.”
The announcement is due to Ford’s struggle to support sales in China, the largest car market in the world. Ford’s sales in China fell by 43% in September compared to the same month last year. The automaker was also hit hard by the US-China trade war, despite Ford selling cars in China through partnerships with local companies.
Some analysts said there was a general slowdown in car sales in China due to persistent trade and caution by Chinese consumers and local repression of some forms of private lending in China.
“China is necessary for Ford’s growth and profitability and,” Farley said in a statement. “China is the largest car market in the world and has its own leadership and emphasis.”
“It was a busy period of product innovation in China, including large volumes of Ford Territory, Ford Focus and Ford Escort vehicles. These are part of Ford China’s commitment to introduce 50 new vehicles by 2025,” the company said.
Earlier in start of this year, Jason Luo, Former Chief of Ford China stepped down just after 5 Months of work.