Ford to invest $600m to expand its capacity in China
US carmaker Ford Motor together with its joint venture Changan Ford Mazda Automobile, planning to invest additional $600m in China to boost its production capacity at its Chongqing facility by 350,000 vehicles per year.
Ford's investment follows its plan to increase its global sales by 60% by 2015, to nearly 8 million vehicles manufactured every year and increasing its investment in China to about $4.1bn.
Chongqing assembly plant will be used to manufacture its New Focus and its vehicles in every class.
Construction on the proposed extension is expected to begin soon and the first vehicle is expected to roll out from the facility in late 2014.
As part of its expansion plan, in China the company had commenced operation on a new vehicle assembly plant in Chongqing in February this year.
Ford China chairman and CEO Dave Schoch said with a current growth rate of about 5%, the Chinese auto industry remains the biggest growth market in the world.
"Expanding our production capacity in Chongqing is 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," Schoch said.
Ford currently operates two assembly plants and an engine plant in the region while another engine plant and a transmission plant currently under construction.
The carmaker is planning to launch four new vehicles to the Chinese market this month following its earlier plans of launching 15 new vehicles to the country by 2015.
Ford's January and February sales dropped 16% to 71,954 when compared to the sales a year earlier.