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Ford says November China auto sales up 47 percent year-on-year

Ford Edge Concept vehicle rim hub is pictured at the 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show in Los Angeles, California November 20, 2013. REUTERS/Mike Blake

BEIJING (Reuters) - Ford Motor Co (NYS:F) and its local partners in China sold a total 99,157 vehicles on a wholesale basis in November, up 47 percent from a year earlier, the company said on Thursday.

That compared with a 55 percent increase in October.

In the first 11 months of the year, sales by the Dearborn, Michigan-based automaker totaled 840,975 vehicles, up 51 percent from the same period last year.

Ford, whose sales have been helped by robust demand for models such as the Focus compact car and the Mondeo midsize sedan, is expected to unveil the significantly redesigned Mustang at a media event in Shanghai later on Thursday. The event is part of a global launch of the sporty coupe simultaneously occurring in Dearborn, Barcelona, Los Angeles, New York and Sydney.

The company says the new Mustang is one of 15 new or significantly redesigned vehicles Ford is bringing to China by 2015 to keep the growth momentum it began building in recent months after a slow start in the world's biggest auto market.

In China, the American automaker has now overtaken its Japanese rival Toyota Motor Corp <7203.T>, helped in part by a sales crisis Toyota and other Japanese brands have undergone since late last year in the wake of a surge in anti-Japan sentiment following a territorial dispute between Beijing and Tokyo.

During the first 11 months of this year, Toyota sold about 809,000 vehicles, up 7.9 percent from a year earlier.

Ford has manufacturing and sales joint ventures with Chongqing Changan Automobile Co Ltd <000625.SZ> and Jiangling Motors Corp <000550.SZ> in China.

(Reporting by Norihiko Shirouzu; Editing by Kazunori Takada)