September 25, 2009

Ford to build plant in China

Ford Motor Co. said Friday it is pushing further into China's market, moving ahead with construction of a new joint-venture plant in Chongqing.

The joint venture -- Changan Ford Mazda Automobile -- is expected to have the $490 million car manufacturing center up and running in 2012, Ford said on its Web site.

The plant will start out making the next generation of the Ford Focus, with an initial capacity of 150,000 vehicles a year, and bring the joint venture's annual production to 600,000 vehicles by 2012. The plant will have the flexibility to produce other models as well.

Ford President and Chief Executive Alan Mulally was in China Friday for the official groundbreaking ceremony.

Globally, we are committed to delivering a full lineup of Ford brand vehicles with best-in-class quality, fuel efficiency, safety and innovative technologies that our customers value and want to drive, Mulally said in a statement on the company Web site. Today's announcement reinforces our commitment to the further expansion of our China operations to meet the continued rise in demand from Chinese consumers for world-class Ford products and services.