Manufacturer targets China
Ford is to build a US$760 million assembly plant in Hangzhou, doubling its passenger car capacity in China to 1.2 million units a year by 2015.
The new plant will be invested jointly by Ford and its joint venture Changan Ford Mazda Automobile (CFMA), with initial capacity of 250,000 units annually.
This will bring Ford's total investment in China to about US$4.9 billion since 2006.
Construction of the new plant will begin this year, with the first vehicle coming off the line in 2015. The move will give Ford greater access to the affluent eastern coast.
Joe Hinrichs, president of Ford Asia-Pacific and Africa, says the new plant will help lay the foundation for growth and strengthens its commitment to China, which is expected to have sales of 30 million vehicles by 2020.
He says Ford's investments in Asia represent its largest and most rapid expansion in 50 years, which it is hoped will help the company realise a 50 per cent increase in global sales from 2010 to about 8 million vehicles annually around 2015.
'The Chinese auto market remains one of the most vibrant in the world,' says Dave Schoch, chairman and CEO of Ford China. 'This expansion will allow Ford to deliver on our aggressive plan to bring 15 new vehicles and 20 new 'powertrains' to China by 2015, giving Chinese consumers more choice in Ford's next generation.'
In February, CFMA opened its second assembly plant in Chongqing, which houses a fully integrated facility. The plant will increase its China passenger car capacity by one-third to 600,000 units, making Chongqing Ford's largest manufacturing location outside southeast Michigan.
Ford also announced that it will invest US$600 million to expand capacity at its Chongqing facilities by 350,000 passenger cars.
CFMA also has an assembly and engine plant in Nanjing.