Ford's Chinese ventures October sales jump as SUVs, vans lead demand recovery

A Ford sign is seen at the second China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Ford Motor Co's <F.N> Chinese ventures reported higher vehicle sales for October from a year earlier, as strong demand for sport-utility vehicles (SUVs) and vans continued to support its recovery in the world's biggest auto market.

The Dearborn, Michigan-based automaker's Chongqing-based venture with Changan <000625.SZ> said on Thursday it sold 26,305 vehicles last month, a 43% jump year-on-year.

Jiangling Motors Corp (JMC) <000550.SZ>, in which Ford owns a stake, said in a filing earlier this week it sold 34,008 vehicles last month, up 26% on year. Overall auto sales are expected to grow 11.4% on year in October.

Changan-Ford sells SUV models including Escape, Edge and Explorer. JMC sells Ford-branded SUVs and vans as well as JMC-branded commercial vehicles.

After two quarters of growth, Ford's China head Anning Chen said the firm now hopes that sales would continue to grow in the remaining months of this year. He, however, declined to offer a detailed sales forecast for the fourth quarter or the full year.

Chen, on the sidelines of the China International Import Expo, an annual import show in Shanghai, told Reuters that the company is considering to bring more SUV models and vehicles in China, with intelligent functions to connect with surrounding infrastructure as part of the three-year product plan it announced last year.

Chen said Ford is researching feasibility of making Ford-branded pickup truck in the country but it is yet to lay out a clear plan.

(Reporting by Yilei Sun and Brenda Goh; Editing by Rashmi Aich)