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Old 01-21-2003, 06:15   #1 (permalink)
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Ford to produce Mondeo cars in China in 2003

SHANGHAI, Jan 21 (Reuters) - U.S. auto giant Ford Motor Co <F.N> said on Tuesday it plans to produce its Mondeo luxury cars in China, the world's fastest growing auto market, in the second half of this year.

"Ford is going to introduce the second product, Mondeo. We will be producing the Mondeo in the second half," Kenneth Hsu, Beijing-based spokesman for Ford Motor (China), told Reuters. Hsu said Ford, the world's second largest automaker, was building a new production line at its $98 million joint venture plant with Chinese partner Chongqing Changan Automobile Co Ltd <200625.SZ><000625.SZ>.

He declined to give details.

Ford is considered a latecomer to the Chinese market compared to its U.S. rival General Motors <GM.N> and Germany's Volkswagen <VOWG.F>.

But on Saturday, it launched its Fiesta compact car in China and said plans to sell 20,000 of them this year and 50,000 in 2004.

Ford executives have also said they plan to introduce a new model each year in China, where the auto market is growing rapidly and becoming increasing competitive with an expanding number of joint ventures by the world's auto giants.

Car producers in China, including foreign joint ventures, sold 3.248 million vehicles last year, up 37.1 percent year on year, according to official figures. That figure included 1.126 million passenger cars, up 56 percent.

Besides Ford, General Motors Corp <GM.N> and Volkswagen <VOWG.F>, a slew of other Japanese automakers such as Mazda Motor Corp <7261.T> and Toyota <7203.T> are also busy in the rapidly growing Chinese market.

FAW Car Co <000800.SZ>, a unit of China's largest auto group, said on Tuesday it would start manufacturing Mazda Motor Corp's <7261.T> Mazda6 mid-sized sedans.

On Friday, Ford's New York shares closed at $10.16, down $0.27. The U.S markets were closed for Martin Luther King Day on Monday.

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My first car was a 67 Mustang Coupe, 2nd one was a 67 Cougar XR-7, 3rd one was a 66 Mustang Coupe. Why did I get rid of these cars for ? I know why, because I'm stupid, stupid, stupid.

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