US auto giant Ford Motor Co and its Chinese joint ventures on Thursday reported a sales rise of 44 per cent in China last year, DPA reported.
Ford and its partners sold 440,619 vehicles in China in 2009, led by an increase of 55 per cent in the 315,791 units sold by the passenger-car joint venture Changan Ford Mazda Automobile.
"We continued to launch world-class Ford vehicles in China, further expanding our vehicle lineup to suit a wider range of China consumer tastes, requirements and lifestyles," Robert Graziano, chairman of Ford Motor China, said in a statement.
Ford said Changan Automobile's performance was led by strong sales of the Ford Focus and a new Ford Fiesta model.
The joint venture announced late last year that it plans to build a third plant in China at a cost of nearly 500 million dollars to back its Asia-wide expansion targets.
It envisions that the new plant would enable it to compete with other global and Chinese carmakers in China's still-expanding market, where rivals General Motors Co and Volkswagen AG currently lead the way.
Other Chinese and foreign carmakers reported similar sales growth to Ford in China last year, and most of them are pressing ahead with bold expansion plans.
Vehicle sales reached an estimated 12 million in China last year, including about 10 million passenger cars, according to the government.
But some analysts have warned that the aggressive expansion plans are likely to lead to a surplus of passenger cars in China in the next few years.