Ford Motor Company was founded by Henry Ford and incorporated on June 16, 1903. It sells cars and commercial vehicles under the Ford brand and has a small residual stake in Japan’s Mazda. It is one of the big three US carmakers and the Focus and Mondeo models are among its most successful brands.
Beijing approves plan for Ford, Mazda to split three way joint venture
Ford Motor and Mazda Motor Corp and their local Chinese partner Chongqing Changan Automotive Co have received approval from China’s central government to split their three-way, manufacturing and sales joint venture into two, Ford’s chief executive said on Monday.
“We’re very pleased with the restructuring and the way it’s going. We have approval from (China’s central government), and we’re proceeding through the regulatory process ... so we’re very, very appreciative and encouraged,” Chief Executive Alan Mulally told reporters in the southwestern Chinese city of Chongqing.
Mazda’s spokesman in Shanghai, Naoto Oikawa, said the Japanese automaker was planning a formal announcement on the split, but had nothing to say on Monday. “We’re likely to make a formal announcement shortly,” Oikawa said, without elaborating.
With approval, Ford and Mazda - which share two major manufacturing bases in Chongqing and the eastern city of Nanjing - are likely to establish a new structure for cooperating with their common Chinese partner.
It will likely split those China operations into two separate entities, with the Chongqing operations owned and operated by Ford and Changan, and the Nanjing base by Mazda and Changan, executives close to the three-way joint venture said.
They said the move is partly driven by Ford’s decision in 2008 to raise money by reducing its controlling stake in Mazda to 13 percent from one third. The U.S. auto maker later further reduced its stake in Mazda, and its stake currently stands at less than 3 percent.
The two companies now feel less need to coordinate their strategy in China with each other and are seeking more operational freedom to boost their presence individually in the country, which in 2009 surpassed the United States as the world’s largest auto market, the knowledgeable individuals said.