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Ford's 20-year marriage in China has hit a rough patch as sales fall. Beijing forces automakers to take on a local partner if they want in on the world's largest car market. While the likes of Toyota and Honda appear to be doing well, Ford is losing ground. Demand was down 6% in 2017, and so far this year hasn't been much better.
Sources tell Reuters tension between Ford and its Chinese partners is hitting local morale, which often equates to lower sales. Now Ford wants to smooth out that friction as Reuters' Adam Jourdan reports from Shanghai.>> Ford is now trying to turn things around here in the China market. They said they're gonna bring out more new vehicles.
They're gonna refresh their line up, especially amid this push towards new energy vehicles and electric. What insiders say at that various joint ventures is that Ford has pledged to bring in more local managers, people with local Chinese nous to help ease those ties between the US carmaker and its local partners.
>> Ford has its sight set on a major revival in China by 2025. But the company's situation could be complicated by its various marriages.>> For any carmaker here, maintaining that relationship with local partners is always a bit of a delicate balance. Especially in Ford's case, they have more than one.
They have Changan. They have JMC. They also have a new partner in electric vehicles, Zotye. And so maintaining all three and making sure that all three partners are happy, while at the same time looking after your own technology and intellectual property is often a challenge for carmakers here, as well as other firms in China.
>> Greener energy could be the key to a turnaround as Beijing pushes aggressively for battery vehicles. Ford says it’s going to launch dozens of new models in China, including a range of electric cars, in a bid to boost revenue.