More Success for Ford in Chinahttp://www.fool.com/investing/general/2013/02/07/ford-china-sales.aspx John Rosevear
February 7, 2013
Eye-popping numbers from Ford (NYSE: F) in China: The Blue Oval's sales in the world's largest auto market in January were up 98% in January.
Better yet, sales at Ford's passenger-car joint venture – the venture that drives the bulk of Ford's China profits – were up a whopping 136%.
Sounds impressive, doesn't it?
It does, but don't be too impressed just yet. The truth is, those numbers aren't nearly as impressive as they sound.
But it was still a good month in China for Ford.
Apples to oranges
January of 2012 had fewer selling days than January of 2013. Here's why: Much of China shuts down for several days for the festivities around Chinese New Year. Sometimes, like in 2012, the New Year holiday falls in January. And sometimes, like in 2011 and 2013, it falls in February.
See what I mean? Sales in January 2013 were bound to look great in comparison to year-ago numbers. (And February's are bound to look dismal. Don't fret when that happens.)
But that doesn't mean it was a bad month for Ford. If we compare to January of 2011 – a record month for Ford in China at the time, though that record was eclipsed last month – we see a gain of just over 15%. That's not 98%, but it's not bad considering the lackluster state of the overall auto market in China between then and now.
And it could get a lot better soon.
A whole lot of Focuses, with more to come
I say "two flavors" because, although Ford rolls up their sales numbers into one impressive-looking total, the company sells two separate cars called "Focus" in China. The "Classic