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The Auto Channel

SHANGHAI February 16, 2004; Dow Jones repoirted that major U.S. automaker Ford Motor Co. said that it sold more than 13,000 Fiesta sedans and more than 4,000 Mondeo upper-class sedans last year in China.

Ford, a latecomer to the China market, started producing and selling its sedans in the country last year. The sales figures represent ten months of sales.

The Fiesta and Mondeo models are produced by a joint venture between Ford and Chongqing Changan Automobile Co. , the listed arm of China's fourth largest auto manufacturer. The joint venture is expected to post a loss for 2003, Changan said in its third quarter earnings report.

Over the weekend, Ford said that it started to produce Mondeos locally with more than 40% of the autoparts procured in China. Last year the Mondeos were imported as kits and assembled in China.

Those Mondeos will be sold for between 209,800 yuan ($1=CNY8.28) and CNY229, 800.

Ford said last year that it agreed with Changan Automobile Group to expand investment in their joint venture by up to $1.5 billion in the next few years to tap China's booming auto market. The increased investment will help expand production to 150,000 vehicles a year, up from the present annual output of 20, 000 units.
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