Next year, more than 65 million people in China will have annual incomes of at least 60,000 yuan ($9,600), the point at which they can afford a simple, no-frills car, according to U.S. consultant Alix Partners.
Ford executives said the new "Value B" car will rival the 57,000 yuan ($9,100) Chevrolet Sail, a subcompact designed, developed and manufactured in China by GM and its partners. The Sail is the second-best selling vehicle in China.
To make this possible, Ford is broadening its local supply base to cut costs and boost margins for low-cost models, executives said.
Schoch said he worries if Ford is moving quickly enough in China."Are we moving the organization fast enough to take advantage of this? Let's face it. We're pretty slow sometimes," he said.
($1 = 6.2326 Chinese yuan)