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Ford Motor to close operations in Indonesia, Japan

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Baku, January 26, AZERTAC

Ford Motor Co. is packing its boxes in two Asian markets, saying it plans to close sales operations in Japan and Indonesia by the end of 2016 amid a broader pullback by Detroit car companies from unprofitable ventures.

The decision follows years of frustration for U.S. auto makers looking to make inroads in Japan, among the top car markets in the world. American automotive executives have long complained about non-tariff barriers, including a web of regulations that put importers at a disadvantage.

Like most foreign auto makers, Ford is a small player in a Japanese market dominated by domestic companies, including Toyota Motor Corp. The No. 2 U.S. auto maker in terms of volume sold only 5,000 vehicles there in 2015, or 0.1% of the market, and those vehicles were imported.

In Indonesia, Ford held 0.6% market share in 2015, with sales falling by nearly 50% during the year to about 6,100 vehicles. Japanese auto makers also dominate car sales in Indonesia, which is the most populous nation in Southeast Asia but has a vehicle market that represents a fraction of what is sold in Japan.

The moves, announced Monday to the nearly 350 Ford employees in those two countries, follow the company’s recent closure of an Australian factory. General Motors Co. has also been retreating from money-losing businesses, recently making moves to exit or reduce exposure to Russia, Indonesia, Australia and Thailand.

The car maker’s retail sales fell to 6,103 vehicles in Indonesia last year, down from 11,614 in 2014. Ford has 44 outlets in Indonesia.

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