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Ford expects 5% auto sales growth in China this year

Feb. 23, 2012 (China Knowledge) - Ford Motor Co, the second-largest car company in the U.S., expects its China's vehicle sales to increase by 5% in 2012, said Joseph Hinrichs, president of Ford Asia-Pacific and Africa.

The forecast is lower than 8% projection by an official of China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.

Last month, Ford sold 30,976 vehicles in China, reflecting a year-on-year drop of 42%, principally dragged down by the Chinese New Year holiday. The U.S. firm's China sales for 2011 grew 7% from a year earlier to 519,390 units.

Joseph Hinrichs also expects that the company's China sales would rebound in the second half particularly for commercial vehicles.

Ford currently owns a joint venture for commercial vehicle production founded with Shenzhen-listed Jiangling Motors Co<000550>, based in Jiangxi Province.

China saw sales of passenger and commercial vehicles total 18.51 million units in 2011, up 2.5% year on year, sources reported.

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