Ford China sales up 24% year-over-year for the first half of 2021

Jordyn Grzelewski
The Detroit News

Ford Motor Co.'s sales in greater China — the world's largest auto market and a leader in adoption of electric vehicles — were up 24% year-over-year in the first half of 2021, the automaker reported this week.

Ford recorded more than 306,700 vehicle sales in the region through the first six months of the year, up from the first half of 2020 when recovery from the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic was just beginning.

Ford Motor Co.'s sales in Greater China were up 24% year-over-year in the first half of 2021, the automaker reported.

The automaker highlighted the performance of its luxury Lincoln brand, which notched more than 42,200 sales in the first half, up 111.4% year-over-year. That marked the brand's best-ever first-half sales performance in the region.

Sales of Ford-branded SUVs exceeded 57,900 units, up 35.7% year-over-year. And Transit commercial vehicle sales topped 26,800, for a 22.5% year-over-year improvement.

Meanwhile, second-quarter sales of 152,900 vehicles represented a 3.6% year-over-year decline, which Ford attributed to an ongoing global semiconductor shortage. The shortage, which is being felt in varying degrees by the entire auto industry, has stretched on for months and disrupted production around the world.

"Ford is focused on offering the right mix of world-class vehicles and services to our customers in China and on continuing the momentum and growth of our business," Anning Chen, CEO of Ford China, said in a statement. "In the second quarter, we revealed six new vehicles and outlined a strong and innovative electrification strategy. These actions — combined with our commitment to deliver always-on customer experiences — position us for success in the competitive Chinese auto market."

The six new vehicles include the Ford Evos, the Escape plug-in-hybrid vehicle, the Escort, the 2021 Mustang, the Lincoln Zephyr Reflection preview car and the Lincoln Corsair plug-in hybrid, according to a news release.

As part of its push toward electrification in China, Ford has revealed a locally-built version of the all-new Mustang Mach-E. And earlier this year, the company announced plans to sell vehicles directly to customers in China under the umbrella of a new, dedicated battery-electric vehicle organization.

The automaker this week said it established 10 direct-to-consumer EV storefronts in the second quarter. Additional storefronts are planned.

Meanwhile, Ford reported that locally built SUVs, including the Lincoln Corsair, Nautilus and Aviator, made up 86% of Lincoln sales in the first half.

Corsair in particular was a bright spot for the automaker, with sales of approximately 23,700 units representing a more than 200% year-over-year increase. It's been the best-selling Lincoln model in the region for 15 consecutive months, according to Ford.

Lincoln Aviator sales were up 281.7% in the first half, to more than 6,500 units.

Ford-branded passenger vehicle sales of about 116,000 were up 6%.

The locally-built version of the Ford Explorer SUV, which launched in June 2020, sold more than 32,500 units in its first year.

Meanwhile, sales of the Ford Escape and Edge were up 10% and 27.3%, respectively, in the first half.

The Ford Mondeo and Taurus sedans were up 14.1% and 41.2% year-over-year, respectively.

Ford's sales in Taiwan, made via a joint venture with a Taiwanese manufacturer, were up 36.4% to 13,800 units, which Ford attributed to the strength of Ford Kuga and Focus sales.

Ford and its Chinese automaker partner JMC posted approximately 148,000 commercial vehicle sales in the first half, for a 26.3% year-over-year improvement.

Ford last week reported that its U.S. sales were up about 9.5% in the second quarter and 4.9% for the first half of the year.

General Motors Co. and its joint venture partners earlier this week reported that its sales in China were up 5.2% in the second quarter with more than 750,000 vehicles sold.

Twitter: @JGrzelewski