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Ford Says China Sales Rose 24%

SHANGHAI ( TheStreet) -- Ford (GM - Get Report) said its April sales in China grew 24%.

The automaker said sales totaled 54,881, helped by strong demand for the new Ford Focus, which sold 9,400 units following an April introduction. The new Focus, built on a global platform, is the first of 15 new vehicles Ford and its partners plan to introduce in China.

Ford's passenger car partner, Changan Ford Mazda Automotive, began producing the new Focus in a new facility, with a price range between $19,000 and $27,000. DFMA April sales rose 30% to 34,108, while sales by Jiangling Motors, Ford's commercial vehicle partner in China, rose 16% to 20,773.

Also in April, Ford announced a new manufacturing facility in Hangzhou and an expansion of its operations in Chongqing. Ford's passenger car capacity in China will double to 1.2 million units by mid-decade.

"Ford's investments in China and across Asia represent its largest and most rapid global expansion in 50 years," said Joe Hinrichs, president of Ford Asia Pacific and Africa. "This expansion will help us realize an increase in global sales by about 50% from 2010 to about 8 million vehicles annually by mid-decade."

April sales by GM and its affiliates in China rose 11.7% to 227,217 vehicles, while Toyota (TM - Get Report) sales rose 68% to about 82,000 vehicles.

-- Written by Ted Reed in Charlotte, N.C.

>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Ted Reed

>To follow the writer on Twitter, go to http://twitter.com/tedreednc.

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