Ford Motor Co. is on a tear in China, with sales up 54 percent this year on the strength of its Focus small car. Long an also-ran in the world’s largest auto market, Ford is now outselling Toyota Motor Corp. there.
Two weeks after Japan’s March 11 earthquake knocked out more than 650 of Toyota Motor Corp.’s suppliers, halting worldwide production, the automaker had to decide where to focus its resources. It picked the Prius.
China is clamping down on overcapacity in the world’s biggest automobile market, benefiting companies with entrenched production and sales, such as General Motors Co., while hurting newcomers to the market.
Tesla Motors Inc.’s Elon Musk said sales of electric Model S cars in China should match U.S. levels as early as next year, with demand from the world’s largest auto market eventually requiring a local plant.
Honda Motor Co. employees in the Chinese city of Wuhan need only visit the popular Feng Bo Zhuang restaurant to see the resentment their company faces. A sign at the door says Japanese are barred from entering.