Mazda Motor Corp. is cleared by the Chinese government to restart sales of its Mazda3 compact car in China next month after a lengthy suspension, Reuters reports.

Assembly of the China-built Mazda3 was halted April 7 at Changan Ford Mazda Automobile Ltd. – a joint venture between Ford Motor Co. and Chinese auto maker Changan Automotive Group – after a flaw was found in the process of acquiring governmental approval for production and sales.

Mazda restarted production in October but has been waiting for government approval to resume sales.

Mazda last year received permission to form a sales joint venture, called Mazda Motor Sales Co., with a local partner, the First Auto Works Group. The newly formed JV will have exclusive rights to sell all Mazda-branded cars in China.

In order to resume sales, Mazda agreed to assign distribution rights, including marketing and pricing decisions, to Changan Ford Mazda. FAW Mazda Motor Sales will handle only retail activities.

Mazda, which is one-third owned by Ford, expects to sell 134,000 vehicles in China for the fiscal year, ending March 31, 2007. The auto maker has set a sales target of selling 300,000 units annually by 2010.