Hot on the wheels of General Motors' sales boost in China [WAMN: 06-Jan-06], the US's number two automaker, the Ford Motor Company has also had a successful year in the People's Republic.

The company says 82,225 of its own-brand vehicles were snapped up in China during 2005, a rise of 46% on the previous year.

Sales of affiliated brands, including cars made by Mazda, have not been finalised but Ford says its overall affiliated brand sales surpassed an estimated 220,000 units last year.

Comments Mei Wei Cheng, ceo of Ford Motor China: "We're quite confident that Ford Motor Company as a whole will again see a significant growth in total sales volume in China in 2006, reflecting our strong products."

Car sales by all manufacturers in the country jumped 21% to nearly four million units last year, bouncing back from a lackluster rise of 15% in 2004.

Sales have slowed since 2003 partly because of Beijing's tightening of credit to help cool the overheating economy. Analysts expect sales to grow around 20% this year on continued strong demand for cheaper models.

Data sourced from; additional content by WARC staff