NANCHANG, China – Ford Motor China's strategic partner Jiangling Motors Corp (JMC) broke ground today for a new USD 300-million assembly plant in Nanchang, Jiangxi Province.
The new plant will have the capacity to produce up to 300,000 vehicles per year and will produce both Ford- and JMC-branded vehicles. A strategic partner in producing Commercial Vehicles in China, JMC is 30 percent owned by Ford. The Ford Transit sold in China is built by JMC.
Robert Graziano, Ford Motor China Chairman and CEO, joined JMC Chairman Wang Xigao and Su Rong, Party Secretary of Jiangxi Province, for the groundbreaking announcement and the symbolic cutting of the ribbon, as JMC executives and provincial and city government officials gathered to mark the historic occasion.
In Graziano's remarks, he emphasised the strategic importance of the Chinese automotive market.
''Today's groundbreaking is another milestone in Ford Motor Company's strategy to expand our production and vehicle portfolio here in the largest automotive market in the world,'' he said. ''Our recent investments to expand JMC in Nanchang and Changan Ford Mazda Automobile in Chongqing are part of our long-term commitment to bring high-quality, fuel-efficient and fun-to-drive vehicles to China from our global portfolio. Growing our business in China helps contributes to the ONE Ford plan by continuing to deliver strong products and profitable growth for all."
The Jiangling Xiaolan Base is evidence of Ford's commitment to expanding operations in China, Graziano added.
The Jiangling Xiaolan Base will be located in Nanchang, around 775km southwest of Shanghai. The new plant will meet Ford's standards for world-class vehicle production, with highly automated and flexible assembly lines. Production experts from Ford will work closely with JMC to bring the new plant online. The new plant is expected to commence operation at the end of 2012.
JMC and Ford already operate two plants together, with capacities of 50,000 and 160,000 units per year, respectively. The new plant will be JMC's biggest, most modern facility.
Graziano said that having a partner like JMC will ensure Ford's continued success in China.
''To succeed in a market like China, it is essential to have strong partners like JMC,'' he noted. ''JMC has long-running relationships with local suppliers and a network of dealerships that stretch across the country.''
With vehicle sales rising steadily, Ford and JMC are building the Jiangling Xiaolan Base to raise production capacity and keep up with domestic and export demand for high-quality vehicles.
Over the past several years, JMC has continued to expand, becoming a leader in China's commercial automotive industry. JMC will continue to work closely with Ford to further expand its product portfolio and technological strength.