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Ford says first half China sales rise 102 percent


SHANGHAI -- Ford Motor Co. said on Friday that its first-half Chinese retail sales had risen 101.8 percent from a year earlier to 74,395 vehicles, as it rolled out new models.

Sales of Ford brand vehicles, both locally produced and imported, came to 68,908 units during the period, up 105.5 percent, while those of affiliated brands, including Volvo, Jaguar and Land Rover, went up 62.7 percent to 5,285 units.

Demand for the Ford Focus sedan was particularly strong, helping push up sales at Changan Ford Mazda Automobile -- a tie-up with Mazda Motor Corp. and Changan Automobile Co. Ltd., by 136.6 percent to 56,417 units.

The joint venture could meet or even exceed its goal of doubling its sales this year as it rolls out more new models, said Mei Wei Cheng, chief executive of Ford's China operations, in a statement.

Ford is a relative latecomer to the hotly contested China market, which is currently dominated by General Motors and Volkswagen AG.

GM saw its Chinese sales surge 47 percent to 453,832 vehicles during the period, while Volkswagen moved 345,375 vehicles, up 32.2 percent.

Ford, along with Changan and Mazda, are expanding a facility in the southwest city of Chongqing. They are also building a plant in Nanjing, some three hours by road from Shanghai, which will have an initial capacity of 160,000 vehicles a year.
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