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Toronto Mayor Rob Ford holds official launch of re-election campaign

TORONTO - Toronto’s controversial Mayor Rob Ford threw a large party _ complete with recorded music and a live band _ for the official launch of his re-election campaign.< Ford, who was the first to register as a candidate in January, held the event at the Toronto Congress Centre in the west-end Etobicoke area he previously represented as a city councillor. The mayor made his way through the crowd along a red carpet to the stage, led by bag-pipers and volunteers carrying campaign signs as people snapped pictures with cellphones.

Ford's Lincoln will debut in China this year, joining the high end market with custom features

BEIJING, China - Ford Motor Co. said Thursday it will sell high-end Lincoln cars in China for the first time later this year when it opens eight dealerships in seven cities. Lincoln is a late comer to China's luxury car market, but Robert Parker, president of Lincoln China, said the brand is being introduced here after thorough research. At Lincoln dealerships, Chinese customers will be greeted with a waterfall, considered auspicious, and their new Lincoln car will have a custom fragrance pleasing to Chinese noses, Parker said.

Ford's Russian joint venture to cut third of jobs as sales fall

Ford's Russian joint venture said Wednesday it plans to cut a third of its staff at its factory outside the northwestern city of Saint Petersburg due to falling sales. "We confirm that we will reduce our workforce in the Saint Petersburg plant by about 700 positions," a spokeswoman for Ford-Sollers told AFP. The plant in Vsevolozhsk on the outskirts of Russia's second largest city employs around 2,000 people assembling cars and commercial vehicles. "We hope to achieve this through voluntary means," the spokeswoman added.

Ford sees U.S. 16 million annualized auto sales rate, including big trucks

DETROIT (Reuters) - Ford Motor Co <F.N> said it expects U.S. auto sales to be 16.0 million vehicles at an annualized rate in March, slightly less than the estimate in a poll of analysts by Thomson Reuters. Ford included medium and heavy trucks in its forecast, which accounts for about 300,000 vehicles annually. The average forecast of 40 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters was for 15.8 million vehicles on an annualized basis, not including the trucks. Ford's March U.S. sales rose 3 percent to 244,167 vehicles.

Weather, incentives help lift March U.S. auto sales

By Bernie Woodall and Deepa Seetharaman DETROIT/SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - U.S. auto sales inched up more than expected in March after two months when weather reduced demand, and at least two auto industry executives said a more robust sales rebound could come in April.

Ford CEO Mulally's compensation rose 10.7 percent in 2013

By Bernie Woodall DEARBORN, Michigan (Reuters) - Ford Motor Co <F.N> Chief Executive Alan Mulally got a healthy raise in 2013 as his total compensation jumped 10.7 percent to $23.2 million, based in part on bonuses related to his performance as well as that of the company, the automaker said on Friday.

Ford CEO Mulally's pay up 11 pct to $23.2 million in 2013 on record North American profit

DETROIT - Ford CEO Alan Mulally's compensation rose 11 per cent to $23.2 million in 2013, as the company reported record profits in North America and Asia. Mulally earned $2 million in salary, the same as 2012. But he earned more in bonuses, at $5.9 million, and in stock and option awards, which totalled $14.6 million.

China's auto sales rise 11.3 per cent in January-February but local brands suffer decline

BEIJING, China - China's auto sales rose 11.3 per cent in the first two months of this year but local brands suffered a decline in a sign of intense competition in the world's biggest auto market, an industry group reported Monday. Sales for the two-month period totalled 3.1 million vehicles, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers. Sales by domestic auto brands declined 1 per cent to 1.2 million vehicles.

Rob Ford gets celebrity treatment in Los Angeles, will be guest on late-night TV

LOS ANGELES, - Toronto's controversial mayor is getting the celebrity treatment on a surprise trip to Los Angeles. Rob Ford touched down in Tinseltown on Saturday and was greeted by late-night talk show jokester Jimmy Kimmel, who wore a chauffeur's cap and held a sign reading "FORD." Ford's two brothers, Toronto city Coun. Doug Ford and Randy Ford, joined him on the trip. The mayor told reporters he'd "love to" to attend the Oscars on Sunday, and will also appear on Kimmel's show — which has repeatedly ribbed the headline-grabbing Ford — Monday night.

Main US pointman on Syria, Robert Ford, steps down

The US ambassador to Syria, Robert Ford, who has been Washington's main pointman in efforts to end the war, working with opposition leaders battling President Bashar al-Assad, stepped down Friday. "Robert Ford is retiring from the foreign service today after nearly 30 years of distinguished service," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters. She admitted that Ford, who over the past three years has built up extensive contacts with the opposition leaders and was instrumental in helping to bring them to the Geneva peace talks, would be a loss.
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