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Ford sales expand quickly in India


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Ford Motor Co., the second-biggest U.S. automaker, became the fastest-growing carmaker in India in January as its Fiesta sedan boosted sales, beating General Motors Corp. and Maruti Udyog Ltd.

Ford India Ltd. sold 4,987 cars in India in January, more than double the sales from a year earlier, after the Fiesta went on sale, according to data from the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers released Monday. Fiesta, sold with engines that can run on either gasoline or diesel, is Ford's fifth car model introduced in India in the last six years.

Ford is counting on increasing sales in India and China as Asian automakers such as Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co. gain market share in the United States. Ford said in October it will invest an additional $75 million in India, Asia's fourth-biggest automobile market, to sell new cars.

"Ford has got it right with the Fiesta as the car is right in line with customer aspirations for a good sedan," said Hormazd Sorabjee, editor of the Autocar India magazine. "Ford still needs to broaden its range; it needs to have more entry-level sedan cars to sustain the momentum."

Indian film hero Abhishek Bachchan has been tapped by Ford as its brand ambassador for the Fiesta, introduced in India in October to compete with Honda's City. The car comes in 1.4-liter and 1.6-liter gas engines and a 1.4-liter diesel engine.
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