American Carmaker's CNY Ad Backfires in China

By That's Guangzhou, February 7, 2021

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American carmaker Ford had a recent blunder on Chinese social media after confusing the Year of the Ox (2021) with the Year of the Horse (2026).

Ford released an advertisement about its Mustang Mach-E on Weibo that referred to this year as the Year of the Horse. The factually incorrect ad drew flak online in China, and the company later apologized for its ‘poor wording.’ 

On February 1, Ford China’s official Weibo account posted the following statement (which has been translated into English): 

“The Mustang Mach-E post was not expressed accurately and the words were not precise, which caused misunderstanding among the audience. We humbly accept the criticism and suggestions, and sincerely thank you for your concern, supervision and correction.”

year of the horse?.jpg
Original post celebrating Year of the Horse. Image via Weibo

On Weibo, netizens were quick to call out Ford for the mix-up, with many alleging that the company did it on purpose. “This was a carefully planned marketing ploy,” wrote one Weibo user. “It [likely] didn’t affect car sales but got the Ford brand out to a larger audience.”

On Ford’s official Weibo account, one netizen proposed a simple solution to the media mishap: “Give away a car and everyone will forgive you.”

According to Caixin Global, this is the first pure electric SUV from Ford, which teamed up with its Shanghai-based partner SAIC Volkswagen.

READ MORE: Huawei Posts NYE Tweet Via iPhone, Internet Blows Up

[Cover image via @福特中国/Weibo]

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