The new Ford Fiesta subcompact went into production in China Thursday at a plant in Nanjing owned by Ford Motor Co. and its venture partner Changan.
Changan Ford Mazda Automobile Co. is assembling four door sedan and hatchback versions of the car, which will go on sale in China later in the first quarter.
The new Fiesta, the first in a series of global vehicles developed by Ford, made its debut last year in Europe. It quickly became the best-selling Ford model after the Focus, with more than 61,000 cars sold in just over two months.
The car, which was designed and developed in Europe for all regions, will go on sale in the United States early next year.
Subcompacts, also called B-cars, account for a big proportion of sales in Europe and Asia and are increasingly popular in the United States. Ford does not have a subcompact now in its U.S. lineup; the smallest Ford model available in the United States is the Focus compact.
Ford expects to produce around 1 million vehicles off the Fiesta platform within five years.