Dearborn, Michigan - Ford is pulling out of Japan and Indonesia, saying that market conditions in each country have made it difficult to grow sales or make sustained profits.
Spokesman Neal McCarthy wrote in an email message: “Japan is the most closed, developed auto economy in the world, with all the imported brands together accounting for less than six percent of Japan's annual new car market.”
Neither market is big for Ford; in 2015 it sold only 6100 cars and trucks in Indonesia and only 5000 in Japan, where it has accused the government of protecting domestic brands.
The company said the decision was communicated to employees and dealers on Monday. Ford will leave Japan and Indonesia before the end of 2016 and plans to explain to customers its commitment to servicing cars, providing parts and carrying out warranty repairs.
McCarthy said car sales were expected to decline in Japan in the coming years. Analysts have said that's due to an aging population and declining interest in cars among younger people in urban areas.
In Indonesia, it was difficult for Ford to compete without local manufacturing and vehicles to sell in key market segments, McCarthy said. Ford has restructured its business there but still has less than one percent of the market with “no reasonable path to sustained profitability,” he said.