Ford Motor Co. Sees Vehicle Sales Fall In China

China continues to be a difficult market for the Ford Motor Co.

Ford (NYSE:F) announced that its China vehicle sales in 2019 fell 26.1% from a year earlier to 567,854 units, as the U.S. automaker continues to battle a prolonged sales decline in its second-biggest market. The Dearborn, Michigan-based automaker delivered 146,473 vehicles in China in the fourth quarter, down 14.7% year-on-year.

Ford has been struggling to revive sales in China after its business began slumping in late 2017. Sales sank 37% in 2018, after a 6% decline in 2017.

The automaker plans to launch more than 30 new models in China over the next three years of which more than a third will be electric vehicles.

It also said it would localize management teams by hiring more Chinese staff and aimed to improve relationships with joint venture partners.

In China, Ford makes cars through its joint venture with Chongqing Changan Automobile and Jiangling Motors. It said it would partner with Zotye Automobile to sell lower-priced cars. Ford is also planning to revamp some of its existing manufacturing facilities with Changan to localize production of its premium brand Lincoln.

Annual industry car sales in China fell in 2019 for the first time since the 1990s, and they are expected to fall this year, too. Sales dropped 6.9% in August from the same month in the prior year, according to industry figures.