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Ford expects sales by China JV to grow 50% this year

By George Gao  From Gasgoo.comNovember 24, 2009

Shanghai, November 24 ( Ford Motor expects sales at its passenger car joint venture in China to rise by nearly 50% this year, boosted by government incentives for purchases of small vehicles, Dow Jones reported yesterday, citing Nigel Harris, general manager of the venture.

In the January-October period, Ford-brand passenger car sales of the joint venture, Changan Ford Mazda Automobile, rose 40% year on year to 188,244 units, with October sales up 80% from a year earlier to 20,027 units.

Sales of the Ford Fiesta and Ford Focus models have driven the joint venture's robust sales growth, Harris said at the Guangzhou auto show yesterday. The Fiesta qualifies for a purchase tax cut for cars with engines smaller than 1.6 liters. The Focus does not.

Harris said he expects China's overall auto market to grow 10% next year in terms of sales, and Ford to grow at a faster pace. "The [Chinese] government has been very clear in saying the automotive sector is very important to the Chinese economy," he added.

In late September, Changan Ford Mazda broke ground to build a $490 million new plant in Chongqing, which will increase the passenger car venture's annual capacity to 600,000 units by 2012.

"We are confident that the demand from Chinese consumers ... will carry strong sales momentum through to the end of the year," Harris said earlier this month.

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