MUMBAI - U.S. carmaker Ford Motor Co's India unit said on Tuesday it would launch its compact car in March and was expanding its dealership in the fast-growing market.

Roughly three-fourths of cars sold in India are in the compact category that has a length of less than 4 meters. Maruti Suzuki dominates the market with its hatchbacks Alto, Swift, Ritz and the A-Star.

The country is one of the few sweet spots for the automobile sector, with car sales in the first 10 months of 2009/10 climbing about a quarter from a year earlier to 1.22 million units, data from the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers showed.

Ford India, which has about 2 percent market share, has sold 24,186 cars during April-January.

The Figo, which was unveiled in September last year by Ford Chief Executive Alan Mullaly, will be built for the Indian market at its $500 million facility in the southern city of Chennai.

Ford India said it opened 28 dealerships on Tuesday, taking its total network in the country to 164 across 97 cities.

Earlier this year General Motors launched the Beat in India, while Volkswagen is set to roll out the Polo in June.

Toyota Motor Corp, beset by recall problems globally due to defective components, will offer its compact Etios in India at the end of this year, while Honda Motor Corp's five-seater family car will be available by 2011.

(Reporting by Janaki Krishnan; Editing by Ranjit Gangadharan)