* Ford's China car JV July sales up 54 percent

* Focus monthly sales top 10,000 units for 5th straight month

Ford Motor Co's (F.N) car venture in China sold 54 percent more Ford brand vehicles in July from a year earlier, its sales arm said on Thursday.

Changan Ford Mazda, a tie-up with Chongqing Changan Auto Co (000625.SZ) and Mazda Motor (7261.T), sold 19,486 Ford models in July, marking a mothly record, it said in a statement.

Sales came to 123,474 units in the first seven months, up 21.5 percent from the same period last year, it said.

China's auto market, which overtook the United States as the world's largest in January, has been a leading bright spot in the struggling global auto industry as government incentives spurred a pick-up in demand.

Rival General Motors [GM.UL], which entered China much earlier, sold 144,593 vehicles in the country in July, up 77.7 percent from a year earlier.

Sales Ford Focus, one of the top sellers in the mid-size car segment in the country, exceeded 10,000 units for th 5th straight months in July.

Sales of the all-new compact Ford Fiesta, which hit the market in March, totalled 22,630 units, while sales of Mondeo and S-MAX models rose 68 percent and 22 percent from a year earlier, respectively, it added. (Reporting by Fang Yan and Jacqueline Wong)