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Ford bets billions to shed also-ran status in China

Ford has just 2 percent of China’s passenger-car market. Intent to catch up, the second-largest US carmaker is spending USD4.9 billion to build eight factories and launch 15 new models in China by 2015.

"Ford is at last ready to get genuinely serious about China," said Michael Dunne, an Asia analyst in Jakarta. "The key will be for Ford products to connect with Chinese consumers on an emotional level just as Buick and Chevy have managed to do."

Making that connection has been challenging for Ford, which had a 14 percent sales decline in China in the first three months of the year, while leading sellers Volkswagen and GM gained share in a slowing market.

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