Can ‘cat theme’ help Ford in China?

The troubled manufacturer has come up with an unusual sales tactic with a cat-themed twist. Photo credit – Pixabay

Can ‘cat theme’ help Ford in China?

Ford has come-up with an unusual partnership with Alibaba.

It takes the form of a giant, cat-themed car vending machine, located in Guangzhou.

The machine gives Alibaba users the choice of over 100 cars and even the option to arrange finance.

The news comes at a turbulent time for Ford in China.

In February, we revealed that the company had revealed plans to focus on SUVs, trucks and electric vehicles in the country.

The plans, outlined by new boss Jim Hackett, are in response to the rapidly changing global market for vehicles.

Ford has previously been accused of being too slow to respond to these changes.

In particular, the firm is keen to launch new electric vehicles in response to growing demand for environmentally friendly cars in China, and has expressed a desire that 70 percent of its sales in China will be either hybrid or electric by 2025.

Previously, we revealed that the company had resorted to employing ‘smell assessors’ in the Country to help combat falling sales.

The extreme measure came after three successive quarters of decline for Ford in China.

Apparently, in Western countries, many people find the smell of a new car to be very appealing.

However, the appeal of a new car smell isn’t universal, and Ford is worried that its models smell too much for Chinese consumers.

As a result, they’ve employed 18 ‘golden noses’ in China to try and sniff-out what’s causing the odour, and how to make it more appealing.

Rupert Reid

Pilot and Senior Broadcast Journalist at Panda Radio. You can find him on Twitter @rupertreid