Ford Motor China Sales Up Sharply In 2006

Demand for passenger and commercial vans helped increase sales by 86.6%.

Ford Motor China Sales Up Sharply In 2006

Ford Motor Co. said Jan. 8 its 2006 China sales soared 86.6% from a year earlier, on strong demand for its passenger and commercial van models. Sales, which includes Ford's affiliated brands -- Lincoln, Jaguar, Land Rover, and Volvo, totaled 166,722 vehicles, making for what Ford described in a company statement as its "strongest year to date in China."

"The China market is a critical part in our plans in building a stronger Ford Motor Company," Cheng Meiwei, chief of Ford Motor China said. "The outstanding 2006 results clearly indicated that we are on the right track to achieve that goal."

China is one of few bright spots for the troubled automaker that in 2006, suffered an 8% drop in 2006 U.S. sales to 2.9 million vehicles, and saw its December sales plummet 13% year-on-year to 233,621 units.

Changan Ford Mazda Auto, Ford's passenger car joint venture based in southwest China's Chongqing city, registered record retail sales of 129,790 units of Ford brand vehicles, up 112.7% year-on-year. The venture's best performing model was the Ford Focus, with retail sales totaling 78,430 units in 2006.

Ford Mondeo sales rose 15% to 47,651 units, while sales of Ford Transit, a commercial van produced by Ford-invested Jiangling Motor Corp, rose 25.4% to 22,973 units, the statement said.

Sales of luxury vehicles, including Jaguar, Land Rover and Volvo, both imported and locally produced, rose 60% year-on-year to 10,914 units.

The company also said that Ford sourced $2.6 billion worth of auto parts from China in 2006.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2007

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