updated 1/5/2007 7:58:26 AM ET 2007-01-05T12:58:26

Ford Motor Co.'s flagship Chinese joint venture said Friday sales of its Ford-brand automobiles more than doubled last year as China's auto market grew rapidly.

Ford sales in China last year totaled 129,790 units, while December sales set a monthly record of 19,401, said Changan Ford Mazda Co.

China is the world's second-largest auto market after the United States and sales are expanding at double-digit annual rates.

Domestic vehicle sales this year are expected to rise by 15 percent to 8 million after hitting 7 million in 2006, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, an industry group.

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