Ford has just started Fiesta assembly at Auto Alliance in Rayong, Thailand, to supply ASEAN markets, Australia and New Zealand

Ford has just started Fiesta assembly at Auto Alliance in Rayong, Thailand, to supply ASEAN markets, Australia and New Zealand

Ford expects 70% of its global growth this decade to come from Asia Pacific and Africa, its regional chief has said.

"China and India are going to be the biggest contributors" to the growth the Dearborn, Mich. auto maker is anticipating for the region, Joe Hinrichs, head of Ford's Asia Pacific and Africa operations, told the Wall Street Journal but he declined to elaborate.

In August, Ford's sales in the Asia Pacific and Africa region grew 32% from a year earlier to about 66,000 vehicles, Hinrichs said.

In the first eight months of this year, Ford's sales in the region totaled "more than half a million vehicles," a 42% increase from the same period a year earlier, he said.

A spokesman said combined Asia Pacific and Africa sales in the first eight months of this year totaled more than 572,000 vehicles.

"We know we have lots of room for improvement in our growth (in the Asia Pacific and Africa region) and for our size and scale...but we are sowing the seeds for significant growth in the future," Hinrichs said.

Ford and its joint ventures in China, including Changan Ford Mazda Automobile (CFMA) and Jiangling Motors Corporation (JMC), reported a 24% year on year rise to 44,047 sales for August.

Passenger and commercial vehicles sold in China to the end of August were also up 42% to 368,103 units.

CFMA, the passenger vehicle joint venture, sold 251,046 units from January to August, up 33%.

CV JV Jiangling Motors sold 15,572 units in August and 117,057 units from January to August this year, year on year increases of 89% and 64% respectively.

Ford and its partners have two vehicle assembly plants under construction in China. The company is also building a new engine plant in South Africa, and has a new vehicle assembly plant under construction in Thailand.

"We have a lot going on (in this region) and we have a lot more to come," Hinrichs said without elaborating.

Ford's Asia Pacific and Africa region encompasses markets on three continents, including Australia, China, India, Thailand and South Africa. Vehicle sales in the region are projected to increase to an estimated 35m vehicles by 2018 from 16m in 2009, according to Ford.