Ford’s Sales Already Racing in China, And It’s Only Getting Started

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The auto industry had a fairly superb year across the board in 2013, as various world economies were able to gain some traction, and loss-making regions showed more promise toward becoming profitable once again. However, few markets were able to hold a candle to the sales powerhouse that is China, which again has proved itself invaluable to automakers worldwide.

Among others, Ford (NYSE:F) had a particularly banner year in the country, likely due to reverberations of anti-Japanese sentiment in China over a territorial dispute about a chain of islands. The Michigan-based company was able to pull ahead of world leader Toyota (NYSE:TM) as it packed on a 49 percent gain in sales for the world’s most populous country.

Ford delivered 935,813 units in China last year to Toyota’s 917,500 vehicles — still a 9.2 percent gain, but well short of Ford’s sales explosion. It marks the first time Toyota has been outsold by Ford going back about 13 years. Ford’s sales have grown faster in China than any other automaker despite a later start in the region, and the company is planning to sink about $4.9 billion more into manufacturing investments there.

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