June 4, 2012 / 5:39 AM / in 5 years

Ford says studying indigenous brands for China market

TAIPEI (Reuters) - Ford Motor (F.N) is in talks with its partners to introduce indigenous brands in China, while it focuses on building up its own brand in the world’s biggest auto market, its China chief said on Monday.

An employee looks at an assembly line at a Ford manufacturing plant in Chongqing municipality April 20, 2012. REUTERS/Stringer

Some foreign auto makers have launched so-called indigenous, or China-only, brands with their local partners, in part to comply with Chinese government regulations that allow global carmakers like Ford to manufacture cars in China.

“We always are in discussions with our joint venture partners. All I can tell you is we are studying indigenous brands, but our total focus in terms of brand enhancement is really on the Ford brand,” said David Schoch, chairman and CEO of Ford’s China operations.

Ford makes its Fiesta, Focus, Mondeo and other sedans in China in a three-way tie-up with Changan Automobile and Japan’s Mazda Motor Corp (7261.T). It also holds 30 percent of Jiangling Motors Corp (000550.SZ), which makes Ford’s Transit vans.

Reporting By Lee Chyen Yee; Editing by Alex Richardson

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