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Ford to start a new sub-brand in China

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Ford is planning a new sub-brand for the Chinese car market, together with its local partner Changan Automotive. The brand will be owned by the Changan-Ford joint venture, and it will be called ‘Jiayue’ (佳跃), best translated as ‘Good Leap, as in ‘leap forward’. Logo seems to resemble a wing, or a bird.

The brand’s first car will be a rebadged Ford Focus Classic powered by an old 120hp 1.8 liter petrol engine. Price is expected to start around 90.000 yuan. Debut os the brand is scheduled for the Chengdu Auto Show in September. The Focus Classic is a slightly dressed-up variant of the second generation Ford Focus, manufactured by Changan-Ford alongside the current third generation Ford Focus.

Ford is one of the very few major manufacturers without a sub-brand in China. Sub-brands are an idea of the central Chinese government, forced onto the joint ventures, to get more technology in Chinese hands. Manufacturers comply, they have to, but only with the oldest tech they have on shelf.

Lone exception is the Venucia sub-brand, owned by the Dongfeng-Nissan joint venture, that makes cars based on recent and current technology, and is becoming quite a success.

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