SHANGHAI, Jan. 8 -- Ford Motor Company took a major step forward in China in 2007, posting a 30 percent year-over-year sales increase and outpacing the industry in the fast-growing market.

Overall, Ford-owned brands -- Ford, Lincoln, Volvo, Jaguar and Land Rover -- sold 216,324 units for the year, a record for Ford Motor (China) Ltd. Ford's strong performance in China in 2007 was highlighted by strong sales of the Ford Focus and the introduction of the new S-MAX in March and Mondeo in November.

Ford's passenger car joint-venture, Changan Ford Mazda Automobile Co., Ltd. (CFMA), also posted a record year with wholesale deliveries rising 60 percent to 217,100 vehicles. CFMA produces Ford, Volvo and Mazda vehicles for the Chinese market.

?We are pleased with our growth in China," said Mei-Wei Cheng, Chairman and CEO of Ford Motor (China) Ltd. ?What is more satisfying is that the growth is built on a sustainable base.?

Ford and its joint-venture partners operate three vehicle assembly plants and one engine manufacturing plant in China. Ford operations in China also include an automotive financing company, a Nanjing-based sourcing and R&D center and extensive sales and service operations. The first Chinese-built Ford passenger car, the Ford Fiesta, was introduced in China in 2003.

?We will continue to invest in China and expand our operations to prepare for the next phase of our strategic growth program,? Cheng said. ?We plan to continue to grow at a fast pace to further strengthen our position in China?s auto market."

Ford?s lineup in China

Focus

The Ford Focus was the fastest growing mid-sized car in China in 2007 and one of the 10 best selling cars in the market. Focus sales rose 57 percent in 2007 to 124,972 units. The Focus is also one of the safest cars in the market, earning a five-star rating in the C-NCAP collision test.

S-MAX

Ford launched the S-MAX SAV in March. To improve the value for customers, the S-Max with flexible seating for seven received a significant upgrade in standard features in December.

Mondeo

The all-new Mondeo sedan entered the Chinese mid-size premium segment in early November and has already established itself with customers. Lauded for its design and driving dynamics, the Mondeo reached 14,845 sales in China in just six weeks on the market.