Following some serious sales challenges in a hyper-competitive market, Ford is in the midst of completely retooling its strategy in China, building existing models there rather than designing them specifically for local customers and giving its joint ventures more free reign when it comes to these efforts. At the same time, FoMoCo is building vehicles in China and then exporting them to other countries – in some cases, in large quantities. This includes the Ford Territory, which is already being exported to Argentina, Peru, and South Africa, to name just a few, as well as the all-new 2024 Lincoln Nautilus, which is set to be built in China and imported into the U.S. However, Ford isn’t alone in terms of foreign automakers that are building vehicles in China and the exporting them to other countries, according to Reuters.
According to recent data from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM), around one-fifth of China’s total vehicle exports last year came from foreign automakers, helping that particular country overtake Japan as the world’s largest in that regard. Much of this surge came from local companies like Geely, BYD, and Chery, but foreign automakers also played a huge role in this result as well.
A grand total of 18 brands – including Ford, Tesla, and General Motors – exported a total of 910,000 vehicles from China to other markets in 2023, which is around 22 percent of the 4.1 million units built there and shipped elsewhere over that time span.
CAAM reports that 344,000 of those vehicles came from Tesla, and notes that Ford and GM are among the largest foreign exporters in China as well, growing their total number of exports by 21 percent compared to 2022. On the Blue Oval side of the coin, it also pointed out the fact that 59 percent of the Territory SUVs it built there last year were shipped to other markets, too.