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Ford and Mazda say not planning to break up China JV

Ford Motor Co and Mazda Motor Corp said they currently had no plans to dissolve their China car joint venture.

Representatives for the two companies were responding to a report by Japan's Nikkei business daily on Sunday saying the two had basically agreed along with China's Chongqing Changan Automobile Co to split their three-way tie-up.

“We have a good relationship with both our partners and there is no plan currently to dissolve the joint venture,” Mazda spokeswoman Christine He told Reuters.

Ford's spokesman Teddy Liu dismissed the report as “speculation”, and so did another representative from Mazda.

A Changan spokesman also said the three partners had a good relationship and had never discussed a possible break-up.

Mazda holds a 15% stake in the venture, Changan-Ford-Mazda, which makes Mazda 2 and Mazda 3 compact cars as well as Ford models, including Focus, Fiesta and Mondeo. Volvo S40 and S80 sedans were also made at the venture.

Mazda sold 179,679 cars in China last year, including 72,697 models made at its China venture. That represents 41% sales growth from a year earlier, company data showed.

Ford sold 440,619 vehicles in China last year, up 44% from 2008. (Reuters)