By Global Times
Some netizens angrily accused Ford of “disrespecting” traditional Chinese culture, while others wondered if the move was an example of “dislocation marketing” by the brand, or if Ford wanted to generate a Sina Weibo hot trend for free.
A Sina Weibo user named Pangge Yangli wrote: I think may be in order to promote the electric Mustang, Ford deliberately said that it’s the “Year of the Horse”. That is, the first year of the production of China’s electric “Ma” (horse).
Ford replied to Pangge Yangli, asking if the user had inside knowledge from the marketing team. The company explained that as Ford’s best-known “horse” – the pioneering all-electric SUV Mustang Mach-E, the first production year in China of which is short for the Chinese Year of the Horse.
According to Ford, Mustang Mach-E is its first global pioneering SUV built on an all-new, all-electric platform and it will be available in China later this year.
For full-year 2020, Ford sold 602,627 vehicles in China, with sales growth of 6.1 percent year-over-year, according to statistics release by Ford. But it was the company’s first year-over-year sales growth in China since 2017.
Ford, whose sales are falling, has been ridiculed online by some netizens for making use of the zodiac year to promote its new product.
Before Ford issued the explanation, the topic “Ford mistakes the Year of Ox for the Year of Horse” was trending across the Chinese internet.
Sina weibo user Damixiansheng rice wrote playfully: “I wake up and find that it is already the Year of the Horse (2026).”