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Ford and its partners are building a new engine plant in China to support future products and ambitious growth plans.
Ford's joint venture, Changan Ford Mazda Automobile Ltd (CFMA) signed a memorandum of understanding on September 25 with the Chongqing Municipal Government to build a new, state-of-the-art engine plant in Chongqing. The US$500 million (RMB 3.4 billion) investment will be funded entirely by CFMA and will be located in Chongqing's New North Zone.
CFMA is a three-way joint venture among Changan Motors, Ford Motor Company and Mazda Motor Company.
Ford Motor Company chief financial officer Lewis Booth joined Chongqing mayor Huang Qifan, Chongqing New North Zone administrative committee director Xiong Xue, Chongqing Changan Automobile Company chairman Xu Liuping, as well as Ford China chairman and CEO Robert J. Graziano in Chongqing at an official signing ceremony on September 25.
"This new engine plant will help power our ambitious expansion plans here in the world's largest automotive market," said Joe Hinrichs, Ford's president, Asia Pacific and Africa "We are working hard to expand sales and production here, and to offer more of the great vehicles from our global portfolio here in China and throughout the region. The growth potential in this part of the world in the next ten years is astounding."
Construction of the new plant is planned to begin next year, with engine production starting in 2013. With the additional capacity of 400,000 units at the new plant, CFMA is more than doubling its existing engine capacity of 350,000, to 750,000 engines annually.
CFMA currently operates two vehicle assembly plants, one in Chongqing and the other in Nanjing. Last September, CFMA broke ground in Chongqing for its third vehicle assembly plant, which will start producing Ford's global flagship C-segment car, the next generation Focus in 2012.
"This investment will significantly expand our manufacturing capabilities and product offering in China," said Robert Graziano, chairman and CEO, Ford Motor China. "We have big plans for China. As part of our 'Better Plan' for China, we will continue to expand vehicle and engine production, grow our dealer network, and grow our team of local talents."
After several years of considerable growth, CFMA has established itself as one of the leading passenger car manufacturers in China. CFMA is well known in China for its high quality cars, as well as its efforts to develop and introduce environmentally friendly technologies.
Ford Motor Company's other partner in China, Jiangling Motors Corporation in Nanchang, produces class-leading commercial vehicles, including the Ford Transit, one of the best sellers in China's high-end light bus segment. JMC recently broke ground for a new commercial vehicle plant with an investment of US$300 million this July.