Ford sees 50 percent sales growth by mid-decade

DETROIT (Reuters) - Ford Motor Co <F.N> said on Tuesday that it will grow by about 50 percent in global auto sales to about 8 million per year by the middle of the decade.

Much of that growth will be in China and India, Ford said.

By 2014, more than 140 percent of Ford's global product portfolio will be either new or significantly refreshed from its 2009 lineup, a Ford spokesman said in an email. The figure is more than 100 percent because some of the models will have been turned over at least twice in that five-year period, the spokesman said.

Ford last week announced that it would introduce the smallest engine in its history, a three-cylinder, within the next two years.

On Tuesday, Ford said that by 2020, about 55 percent of its total vehicle sales should be of small cars. Also, Ford said its Asia-Pacific and Africa sales regions should make up nearly a third of its 2020 sales.

Ford executives are in New York to meet with Wall Street analysts about long-term growth strategies and efforts to continue strengthening the balance sheet. That session will be held on Tuesday afternoon.

Ford Chief Executive Alan Mulally separately told CNBC in an interview on Tuesday morning that the company has exited the "survival mode" and is poised for major growth around the world.

Mulally took over as Ford CEO in 2006 and has turned the company around so that it has shown a profit for each of its last seven quarters. From 2006 to 2008, Ford lost $30 billion.

Ford shares on Tuesday morning were up 1.2 percent at $14.08 per share.

(Reporting by Bernie Woodall, editing by Gerald E. McCormick)