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Ford sales in China jump 30% in 2007
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Ford Motor Company, which is struggling to regain its ranking as the world's second largest auto maker from Toyota Motor Corp, has seen its sales in China jump 30 percent year on year last year.


It also plans to continue to invest in China as it maps out a new strategic growth in the world's second largest auto market this year.


The US car maker delivered a combined 216,324 units made up of domestically-made models and imports under the Ford, Lincoln, Volvo, Jaguar and Land Rover brands in China, Ford Motor China said in a statement yesterday.


Ford's sales growth outpaced the 20-percent forecast and also followed an 86-percent jump in 2006 from the 2005 level.


Ford's Chinese passenger car joint venture, Chang'an Ford Mazda Automobile Co Ltd, posted record high wholesale deliveries of 217,100 vehicles, an increase of 60 percent from a year earlier.


Strong sales of Ford Focus and a series of new products, including S-MAX sport utility vehicle in March and new Mondeo in November, have helped Chang'an Ford Mazda to be among the top 10 best selling car makers in China since April.


Mei-Wei Cheng, chairman and CEO of Ford Motor (China) Ltd, said the car maker is happy with the growth in China because it is built on a sustainable base.


"We will continue to invest in China and expand our operations to prepare for the next phase of our strategic growth program," Cheng said. "We plan to continue to grow at a fast pace to further strengthen our position in China's auto market."


Although Ford's sales increased rapidly in China over the past two years, it still trailed overseas peers like General Motors Corp and Volkswagen AG which drove into the country much earlier than Ford.


Ford has been seeking growth in Asian countries such as China and India to offset the slow demand at home and declining US car sales. A booming economy in these countries has made cars affordable to consumers.


The Dearborn, a Michigan-based car maker, has just launched a new Ford Transit light commercial vehicle and will begin selling a small compact car based on its new Verve sedan which debuted at the 2007 Frankfurt Auto Show.


(Shanghai Daily January 10, 2008)

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