Ford looks to Asia to grow sales by 50% in four years

The US car giant, Ford, has said it wants to boost sales from 5.3 million vehicles a year to eight million – a number that would pull it level with rival car maker, Toyota.But the trouble with forecasting is that predictions often miss the mark.That has not stopped Alan Mulally, the chief executive of Ford from making a few bold ones.Indeed, he wants the number two American car maker to increase global sales by 50% in the next four years.At a Ford dealership in Manhattan, a cheery Alan Mulally in a dark suit and red tie spoke about the company’s aggressive growth strategy.To achieve this, Ford will not be relying on American car buyers.Much of the growth will come from overseas, particularly in Asia.”Clearly the highest growth rates will be in Brazil and Russia and in India and in China”, said Mr Mulally before adding: “China’s really exciting because of the next few years we’re going to go from 5 vehicles we have in China up to 15 vehicles.”

Since Mr Mulally took over five years ago, he has transformed the company.These days it is less reliant on sports utility vehicles and trucks, and is focussed more on selling smaller cars which it hopes will account for more than half its sales by 2020.But if it wants to win over Chinese drivers, Ford will have to play catch-up. Competitors like General Motors and VW are already well established in that country.Certainly, with its turnaround at home exceeding expectations, Mr Mulally says Ford has the financial strength needed to go ahead with this expansion: “Now we’re generating the profits and the cash which we can invest in the business going forward.”Ford made a profit of $6.6bn (£4bn) last year.As Alan Mulally moves to leave the showroom, staff at the dealership crowd around him.As one of the few rock stars of the car business, he is used to receiving a lot of attention and happily stops to chat and pose for pictures.His turnaround of Ford saved a large part of the US car industry. Now, it seems, he is poised to take his success on to the international stage. – BBC