One afternoon not long ago, since we were visiting a factory across the road anyway, my Wife, her Younger Brother and I dropped by the Ford Auto Dealership on the outskirts of Qingyang that I mentioned here.

Now, I don’t know how many Ford dealerships there are in China, but I don’t think there are nearly as many as there are McDonald’s franchises. This was the first I’ve seen, anyway. Here’s a picture of the front of it for starters, by the way (bottom floor):

But we walked in this one and started looking at one of the eight or nine vehicles in the showroom–and that’s it; just several vehicles inside a showroom, no “back lot” full of additional models. Pretty quickly a salesman came in our direction and greeted us, and for some reason my Wife and her Younger Brother went mute, so this fellow and I struck up a conversation, despite his obvious surprise that (1) the foreigner instead of his two Chinese companions was doing the talking and (2) the foreigner was doing the talking in Chinese.

I had a little mischievious fun, asking him to pop the hood on a couple models and inquiring how fast the Mondeos would do zero-to-sixty. We were really there, however, because my Wife’s Younger Brother is thinking of buying a car in the next year or so, so he and my Wife eventually came over and joined in the conversation.

I took advantage of that to start checking out sticker prices and manufacturing info–and I got to chuckle as I walked away and heard the salesman, who must have thought I was with two of my employees or something, say, “As I was just telling your boss…”. (Later, Me: “Heh heh, did you hear that, honey, he said, ‘Your Boss’.” Her: Cold icy stare.)

It turns out that all the cars there but one were manufactured in China; mostly Guangzhou, I believe. Only one–a Lincoln Navigator loaded with all the extras–was “imported,” all the way from Detroit. It was priced–well, I’ll put it this way–it was priced at about double what the same model costs in the U.S.A., according to my online research. Yowza.

The salesman offered us a test drive, but we had to leave soon for another appointment and so took a raincheck (but if you’d like to learn more about Ford in China, visit http://www.ford.com.cn/). So we headed back out, crossed the road again, and tried to hail a cab. Which proved a difficult thing to do. But I’ll save that tale till tomorrow.

Samples from the advertising literature:

Ford Mondeo cover:

Ford Focus cover:

Lincoln Navigator interior: