Although vehicle sales in China have slowed since last year, American automakers are still banking on the Asian country to prove to be a lucrative market for the foreseeable future. Investments from Detroit’s Big Three have reflected this belief, the latest being an announced $1.8 billion from Ford Motor Company, earmarked for research specifically for the Chinese market.
The Detroit News reports that Ford Motor Company is investing the sum into its R&D center in the eastern city of Nanjing, in order to bolster its efforts in the areas of autonomous car technology, powertrain efficiency, mobile connectivity, and the like. Notably, each of the aforementioned can easily translate into other markets as well.
Still, Ford Motor Company isn’t alone in its hefty Chinese investments; General Motors recently announced a $5 billion investment with its own Chinese partner, SAIC, to develop new models intended for the markets of Brazil, China, India, and Mexico.
For the time being, however, auto sales in China are down for the year. Ford Motor Company itself sold 3 percent fewer units in August of this year than it did during the same period a year ago, dropping to just under 80,000. Year-to-date sales haven’t been impacted quite so much, with Ford Motor Company moving just 1 percent fewer vehicles than last year.