Hats off to Ford Territory, which is celebrating its second year in the local automotive industry.  So far, it has sold 5,000 units, cornering a 56-percent share of its market segment. Early this year, sales reached 10,000.  It brings pride to the American carmaker.

This US vehicle, however, reminds me how well the Chinese are doing with it.

First of all, this vehicle is a joint partnership between Ford Motor Company and Jiangling Motors Corporation, a state-owned holding established in 1947, headquartered in Nanchang, Jiangxi China.

Its predecessor was JMC’s own compact SUV, Yusheng S330. And if you look at the two vehicles closely, they have many similarities. At its launch in 2020, I was astonished, if not flabbergasted by the vehicle when I first saw it in person. That time, the economy and businesses were still being crippled by strict quarantine measures and safety protocols due to the height of the global pandemic and launch organizers only allowed us limited time with the vehicle.

It was also around that time that China and the United States were at odds with each other, with then US President Donald Trump initiating the “jabs.”

In the middle of it all, the Ford Territory was introduced to the local market at a preposterous price point. The Philippines got first dibs among the American carmaker’s International Market Group, composed of nearly 100 markets around the world. For me, it was the best thing that has ever rolled out from the company and unto our local roads in recent memory.

Aside from its affordable price, what caught my eye were its stupendous features. It combines a sleek and stylish look, impressive performance, and smart and safe technologies in an SUV. According to testimonials from actual owners, they raved about its commanding presence on the road, as well as proven performance that balances power and fuel efficiency. Not only those but its smart, safe and convenience technologies have also been regarded as the owners’ favorite features, particularly those that belong to the Ford Territory Club Philippines, a community of Ford Territory owners and enthusiasts whose membership has now reached over 22,000. From the launch two years back up to this point, it has not disappointed this writer. Indeed, it has proven its mettle.

BACK in 2020, the Ford Territory was launched at its BGC dealership in Taguig City. Now, it is thriving in the local automotive market in its second year. | PHOTOGRAPHS COURTESY OF FORD PHILIPPINES

Chinese and other matters

The Ford Territory is not the only vehicle coming from China that has enjoyed the fruits of that country’s labor. The Chery Tiggo 8 Pro Phev — for one — was sold out immediately right after its local debut.
Also, the Geely Coolray and Okavango have been selling like hotcakes. The MG ZS, too, is delighted in its fruitful sales.

Other than the vehicles, China — the world’s largest market for new energy vehicles — is expected to become a new important center of the global auto supply chain, according to one source. In 2021, companies in China supplied over 50 percent of the world’s new energy vehicles’ power batteries.

In fact, China has been the world’s market for new energy vehicles since it overtook the United States in 2015.

Recently, according to reports in Korea, it was announced that Hyundai has been hailed the third biggest carmaker in the world, after Toyota and Volkswagen. I remember not long ago that we used to lambast the Korean brand for faring poorly compared to its counterparts. With how things are going so far, Chinese brands are not far from following the same fate.

Now, the Ford Territory — the American carmaker’s pride and joy — may be well on its way to hitting the 15,000th sales milestone before the end of 2022. In the back of my mind — however — I just can’t help but think that the vehicle was made in the country that Trump openly despised.


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