"The easing of trade tensions between China and the United States has also helped restore consumer confidence", said Kang, who expects China vehicle sales to grow 0.05% this year.
China continues to be a hard market for the Ford Motor Co.
After a three-month transition period that ended on June 25 a year ago, local governments stopped subsidizing purchases of NEVs other than new energy buses and fuel cell vehicles, resulting in sharper declines of NEVs sales in the latter half of 2019.
China's auto sales continued to decline previous year as demand retreated in the world's biggest auto market, data from an industry association showed Monday.
Citing the monthly trend of production and sales of vehicles, the CAAM said China's automobile production and sales situation is gradually improving.
Industry watchers, though, are hoping a sales recovery in lower-tier cities, and an easing of trade tensions between China and the United States, can help ease the decline. Sales dropped 6.9% in August from the same month in the prior year, according to industry figures.
Sales in December were 0.1% lower than a year earlier, CAAM said. China's NEV sales jumped 62% in 2018 but a subsidy cut hurt sales past year.
In China, Ford makes cars through its joint venture with Chongqing Changan Automobile and Jiangling Motors.
"We expect the market downturn to continue in 2020, and anticipate ongoing headwinds in our China business", Matt Tsien, president of GM China, said last week as the USA automaker reported a 15% drop in 2019 China sales. The Dearborn, Michigan-based automaker delivered 146,473 vehicles in China in the fourth quarter, down 14.7% year-on-year. In total, it sold 567,854 vehicles over 2019.
Ford has been struggling to revive sales in China after its business began slumping in late 2017. The automaker's been struggling in China for the past three years, and 2019 is an improvement compared with the 37% decline the company posted in 2018.
Anning Chen, president and chief executive of Ford Greater China, described 2019 as "challenging", however, he pointed to strong gains by its Lincoln luxury brand and narrowing losses by its other brands in the final six months of 2019 as promising signs for 2020.