CHONGQING, China – Ford, together with its partners in China, is building its first transmission plant in China to support Ford's aggressive growth plan in the world's largest auto market.
Ford's passenger vehicle joint venture in China, Changan Ford Mazda Automobile (CFMA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding today for the transmission plant project with the Chongqing Municipal Government. The plant, with an initial investment of USD 350 million to be entirely funded by CFMA, will produce advanced fuel-efficient six-speed automatic transmissions with an initial annual capacity of up to 400,000 units, supplying Ford brand vehicles produced and sold locally by CFMA.
Chongqing Mayor Huang Qifan, Vice Mayor Tong Xiaoping, Chongqing New North Zone Administrative Committee Director Xiong Xue, Changan Automobile Company President Zhao Baolin, as well as Ford Asia Pacific and Africa President (APA) Joe Hinrichs, CFMA President Marin Burela and CFMA Executive Vice President Luo Minggang attended the signing ceremony.
"This transmission plant investment represents yet another important milestone in Ford's accelerated growth plan for this important market," said Joe Hinrichs, president of Ford APA. "Together with prior investments announced in the past few years, this new plant demonstrates Ford's unprecedented commitment to the China market and how we are leveraging advanced global technologies to support Ford's aggressive plan to introduce 15 brand new vehicles to China by 2015."
The transmission plant, to be located in Chongqing's New North Zone, is scheduled to break ground this July and start production in the fourth quarter of 2013.
Marin Burela, president of CFMA, said, "As CFMA's first transmission plant in China, this project will greatly expand our manufacturing footprint and technical capabilities in China, enabling us to provide an increased level of high-quality, fuel-efficient vehicles with smart technologies to the Chinese consumers. We are incredibly excited about this important and strategic investment."
CFMA manufactures the award-winning Ford Mondeo, Ford Focus, Ford Fiesta and Ford S-MAX.
This new transmission plant represents the latest in a slew of investments previously announced by Ford and its partners in China:
- A Memorandum of Understanding was signed between CFMA and the Chongqing Municipal Government in September 2010 for a new engine plant with a total investment of USD 500 million. It will start construction later this year and is scheduled to begin production in 2013 with an initial annual capacity of 400,000 units.
- On July 18, 2010, Ford Motor China's strategic commercial vehicle investment Jiangling Motors Corp broke ground for a new USD 300 million assembly plant in Nanchang, Jiangxi Province.
- In September 2009, Ford announced a USD 490 million investment for a new passenger car plant in Chongqing with initial annual capacity of 150,000 units. It will boost total annual production capacity at CFMA to around 600,000 units by 2012 to help meet increasing demand for Ford brand vehicles in China. The passenger car plant will begin manufacturing the next-generation Ford Focus in 2012.