Ford overtakes Hyundai in Chinese auto market

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Ford overtakes Hyundai in Chinese auto market

Ford Motor outsold Hyundai Motor in China for the first time, closing in on its goal to rank among the top three foreign automakers in the world’s largest market.

Ford’s sales rose 9.4 percent to 296,825 vehicles in the three months that ended March 31, while Hyundai’s deliveries fell 2 percent to 282,305 during the same period, according to data provided by the companies. That places Ford behind Volkswagen, General Motors and Nissan Motor in terms of sales volume in China.

Automakers are racing to expand their production capacity in China, lured by millions of first-time buyers and replacement demand. Ford opened its fourth passenger-car assembly plant in the country last month and plans to take over and upgrade another factory. The second-largest U.S. automaker will unveil the new Taurus sedan at the Shanghai auto show this month, part of the 15 new models it has pledged to introduce in the country.

Hyundai is also expanding production. The Korean automaker began constructing its fourth plant in China this month, and has plans to build a fifth later this year. When completed, the company will be able to produce 2.7 million vehicles a year in China, compared with 1.05 million units currently.

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