CHONGQING, China — Ford Motor Company and Changan Automobile Group broke ground on a new USD 350 million transmission plant at their joint venture Changan Ford Mazda Automotive (CFMA) on Saturday, bringing to USD 3.5 billion the total investment in China by Ford and its partners.
“Serving customers together with CFMA for the last ten years has been an honour for all of us at Ford," said Alan Mulally, president and CEO, Ford Motor Company. "China and Asia are incredible engines of growth. The hard-working men and women at Ford, at CFMA, in our retail outlets, and throughout our entire supply chain, are excited to work together to serve even more customers with great products and technology that exceed their expectations.”
Mulally was joined at the event by Joe Hinrichs, president of Ford Asia Pacific and Africa (APA), and chairman and CEO of Ford China; CFMA Chairman Xu Liuping; Chongqing Mayor Huang Qifan; and other officials and executives.
Mulally said the new plant will produce advanced 6-speed automatic transmissions, and will have an initial capacity of 400,000 units to power Ford vehicles built and sold by CFMA.
Ford's total investment in APA has now reached USD 5 billion.
During his visit to Chongqing, Mulally also met with Chongqing Party Secretary Bo Xilai, Mayor Huang Qifan, and CFMA Chairman Xu Liuping.
Hinrichs said the new transmission plant in Chongqing is Ford's first in China and will help power the launch of 15 new vehicles in China by 2015.
"As part of our aggressive growth, we're shifting into high gear. With the seven new plants we're building in Asia Pacific and Africa, including four in China, Ford's capacity in the region will be 2.3 million units by mid-decade. This will allow us to continue to bring more of the high quality, fuel efficient, fun-to-drive vehicles to Asia, that customers want and value," he said.
The ceremony was held at the same location in central China where Ford and Changan Motors broke ground for their joint venture ten years ago. In the last ten years, CFMA has built and sold more than 1.3 million Ford brand vehicles, including Focus, Fiesta, Mondeo, and S-Max. CFMA has assembly plants in Chongqing and Nanjing, and an engine plant in Nanjing.
CFMA is building a new USD 490 million assembly plant in Chongqing which will come online in 2012 and is the future home of the new Ford Focus. It is also building a USD 500 million state-of-the-art engine plant in Chongqing.
The groundbreaking was the first stop for Mulally on his almost week-long visit to China and Thailand to review Ford's operations and aggressive expansion in Asia Pacific and Africa. On Sunday, he participated in Chongqing Mayor Huang's annual International Advisory Committee Meeting.
To see more photos from the ceremony, please visit http://www.flickr.com/photos/fordapa/sets/72157627630436137/
|CFMA Chairman Xu Liuping delivers a speech.
|| Exchanging gifts with Chongqing Mayor Huang Qifan. |