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Ford invests $US600 million in China

Signing off: Ford and joint venture partner Changan will boost their production capacity in China by around 60 per cent by 2014.

Blue Oval to boost output in China by 350,000 units per year by 2014

Ford logo10 Apr 2012

By MIKE COSTELLO

FORD Motor Company will invest another $US600 million ($A582m) at its largest Chinese manufacturing plant as part of a bid to introduce 15 new models into the world’s largest car market over the next three years.

The Blue Oval, along with joint-venture partner Changan Ford Mazda Automobile (CFMA), will raise the annual capacity of its Chongqing passenger car plant by 350,000, boosting its overall output in China to 950,000 a year.

In addition to the introduction of the 15 new models, Ford will also add 20 new engines and transmissions to the Chinese market with the aim of improving fuel economy and CO2 emissions by 20 per cent by 2015.

These reductions will come from the greater proliferation of technologies such as turbocharging, direct injection, twin independent variable camshaft timing and six-speed transmissions.

Ford Asia Pacific and Africa president Joe Hinrichs said the investment is part of the brand’s aim to increase worldwide sales by around 50 per cent to eight million vehicles per year by mid-decade.

“We are going further in China and across Asia”, he said.

“With this additional investment and capacity expansion, Ford continues to lay the foundation for long-term growth in the world’s largest automotive market.”

Construction on the plant extension – which includes a new assembly line, body and paint shops – will begin immediately and the first vehicles will come off the line in late 2014.

CFMA operates two assembly plants – one of which opened in February and is among one of several global facilities that produces the Focus – and an engine plant at Chongqing, while another engine plant and a transmission plant are already under construction.

The latest commitment brings Ford’s total investment in China to about $US4.1 billion.

Chairman and CEO of Ford China Dave Schoch said that expanding the production capacity in Chongqing would be “a key part of our aggressive growth plans in China and Asia, and will allow us to bring more high-quality, safe, fuel-efficient, fun-to-drive vehicles from our global portfolio to Chinese customers”.

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