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Ford’s Lawler Says China Sales Will Outpace Industry This Year

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June 26 (Bloomberg) -- Ford Motor Co., the fastest-growing major foreign automaker in China this year, said its sales gain will outpace the industry in 2013 as customers buy new models.

“We don’t see the growth rate backing off for the rest of this year,” John Lawler, head of Ford in China, said today at a briefing in Shanghai, without giving figures. “We’re seeing great reception of our new vehicles.”

Ford sales surged 48 percent in the first five months of the year in China, beating foreign peers including Toyota Motor Corp. and Volkswagen AG, on demand for the Focus compact and EcoSport and Kuga sport-utility vehicles. The Dearborn, Michigan-based automaker, whose China passenger-car deliveries have climbed three times as fast as the industry in 2013, will introduce the Mondeo sedan in China this year, Lawler said.

China’s passenger-vehicle sales may increase 8.5 percent to about 16.8 million units in 2013, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers. Commercial-vehicle sales will probably rebound from last year’s 5.5 percent contraction, gaining 1 percent to about 3.85 million units.

Ford will introduce the Sync AppLink -- an interactive feature that allows drivers to use smartphone applications through voice commands -- in China next year, said Edward Pleet, the company’s director of connected services for Asia Pacific, Africa and Europe.

The automaker will work with Chinese companies including Baidu Inc. and Sina Corp. to customize the mobile apps for Chinese consumers, he said.

To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Alexandra Ho in Shanghai at aho113@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Young-Sam Cho at ycho2@bloomberg.net

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