Fri, Nov 26, 2010 - Page 11 News List

Ford Lio Ho rolls out 2 millionth car

CNA and AP, TAIPEI and SHANGHAI

Ford Lio Ho Motor Co (福特六和), a Taiwanese subsidiary of the US-based Ford Motor Co, said yesterday it will roll out its 2 millionth car in the local market next week after 38 years in the country.

Ford Motor Group vice president and president for Asia-Pacific and Africa Joe Hinrichs, Minister of Economic Affairs Shih Yen--shiang (施顏祥) and Industrial Development Bureau Director-General Woody Duh (杜紫軍), will attend the ceremony to unveil the new car.

Ford Lio Ho, a 70 percent-owned subsidiary of the US car maker, is a joint venture with the Lio Ho Group. It was set up in 1972, and has become one of Ford Motor’s important overseas production bases, according to the local company.

The company said this year has special meaning for Ford Motor, as the number of cars it has produced in Taiwan will reach the 2 million mark, symbolizing the strong sales the automaker has generated locally.

In the first 10 months of this year, sales posted by Ford Lio Ho, which owns the Ford and Mazda brands in Taiwan, rose 29 percent from a year earlier, while sales of the Ford brand alone grew 20.1 percent year-on-year.

Last month, Ford Lio Ho accounted for 11 percent of the Taiwanese auto market, compared with 11.1 percent recorded a year earlier.

The Taiwanese unit said its 2 millionth car is a new Mondeo passenger model equipped with Ford Motor’s energy-efficient EcoBoost engine, which is being introduced into the Taiwanese market for the first time.

According to the company, the EcoBoost engine technology, which Ford Motor unveiled at the North American International Auto Show in 2008, delivers up to 20 percent better fuel economy and cuts carbon dioxide emissions by 15 percent.

Ford Lio Ho said more than 80 percent of its cars will be equipped with EcoBoost engines by 2013.

Meanwhile, Ford Motor is opening dozens of new dealerships in China as it expands its reach into provincial cities, courting new car buyers.

The automaker yesterday inaugurated 40 new dealerships out of 66 it will open before the end of the year in China. This year it plans to open a total of 100 dealerships there, raising the total number of outlets to 340.

China’s car market is the world’s biggest and sales are growing fastest in provincial cities where millions of new and potential car buyers live.

Ford is forecasting record sales for this year, though it got a later start and has a smaller presence in China than rival General Motors Co.

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