Ford sales in China fell last month, the automaker announced.

The automaker's tally of 76,000 vehicles in January was an 18% decline year over year.

Last month, sales by the Changan Ford Automobile (CAF) joint venture fell 29% to 47,000 vehicles.

The Jiangling Motor Corporation (JMC) JV boosted sales 13% to 23,000.

Lincoln volume rose 7% to 5,000.

Ford China CEO Peter Fleet said the company remained focused on improving performance in China and growing business there.

"As we reposition our business in China, SUVs, luxury and commercial vehicles are key priorities of our strategy this year," he said.

"We are pleased that our focus on these areas continues to generate positive results for both JMC and Lincoln.

Sales of the Ford Transit and JMC Teshun rose to 6,200 vehicles in January, up 118%. Sales of the Ford Tourneo also increased nearly 100% compared to January last year.

Meanwhile, Lincoln Continental volume was up 136% year over year.

"Sales of Continental are strong and the market's reaction to the launch of the redesigned Navigator in January is also very positive," said Fleet.

Ahead of its new model launches later in 2018, Changan Ford has "rebalanced" its compact sedan production and retail volumes "to ensure an orderly transition to the new models".

Ford announced a China 2025 Plan in December 2017 including intent to introduce 50 completely new vehicles by the end of 2025including eight SUVs and 15 electrified vehicles under Ford and Lincoln brands. The first of these will be launched later in 2018.

The plan also includes continued investment in design and engineering in China following the opening of the company's new Nanjing test centre late in 2017.