Ford Motor Co. debuts its S-Max cross/utility vehicle in China in an attempt to compete with Honda Motor Co. Ltd.'s Odyssey minivan in the country's fast-growing multipurpose vehicle market, Bloomberg News reports.
The 2.3L S-Max is Ford's first CUV offering in China. Ford hopes to sell about 1,000 S-Max vehicles in China annually.
Ford has been working to establish a strong foothold in China, which now ranks as the world's second-largest vehicle market behind the U.S. The auto maker reportedly has invested more than $1.5 billion since 2003 in an effort to catch-up with sales leaders General Motors Corp. and Volkswagen AG.
Sales of multipurpose vehicles, which seat six passengers or more, reportedly rose 28% in the year's first two months.
Demand for the Focus last year led Ford to an 87% sales increase in compared with like-2005. Ford says it plans to boost its annual China capacity to 410,000 units by the end of the year, helped by a new plant in Nanjing, located in eastern China.