Ford’s China sales fall in July

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From ChinaDaily, 030810. BEIJING – Ford Motor Co on Tuesday reported its China sales for July that represented a fall from last year, the first major automaker to suffer a decline on China market.

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Ford said July sales totaled 18,255 vehicles. It gave no growth rate but the figure would be a 6.3 percent decline from July 2009 sales of 19,486 units reported earlier.

Automakers are looking to China, the biggest auto market by number of vehicles sold, to drive revenues amid weak global demand. But growth has fallen since last year, when Beijing boosted demand with tax cuts and subsidies.

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China’s auto sales in July rose 17.2 percent, down from June’s 19.4 percent growth, the official Xinhua News Agency said Monday, citing the Cabinet’s China Automotive Technology and Research Center. It said August sales would likely weaken further.

A Ford spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment on reasons for the sales decline. Ford reported double-digit sales increases in previous months and a 53 percent jump for the first half over a year earlier.

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Ford said sales for the first seven months rose 38 percent over a year earlier to 170,053 vehicles.

On Monday, Ford completed the sale of its Swedish unit Volvo Cars to China’s Geely Holding Group for $1.5 billion. Ford sold its European brands to raise cash and focus on its mainstay Ford and Lincoln models.

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