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Ford says May China auto sales up 32 pct y/y

SHANGHAI, June 6 (Reuters) - Ford Motor Co and its Chinese joint ventures sold 93,323 vehicles in China in May, up 32 percent from a year earlier, the U.S. automaker said on Friday.

That follows a 29 percent year-on-year rise in April and a 28 percent increase in March.

The company's sales in the first five months of the year came to 461,473 cars, up 39 percent from the same period a year earlier.

Ford's China sales have been bolstered by continued strong demand for its Ford Focus model, the best-selling car in the country last year, and Ford Mondeo.

Ford plans to launch its premium brand Lincoln in China later this year, with plans to open eight Lincoln retail outlets in seven Chinese cities starting in October.

Ford makes vehicles in China in partnership with Chongqing Changan Automobile Co Ltd and Jiangling Motors Corp Ltd.

(Reporting By Samuel Shen and Kazunori Takada)