Ford to Build Transmission Plant in China

$350-million project will produce 400,000 units annually

A Ford Motor Co. joint venture will build a new plant in China to manufacture 6-speed transmissions for Ford vehicles produced and sold in that country. It will be the first transmission plant in China for Ford. Changan Ford Mazda Automobile Ltd. (CFMA) will begin construction next month at Chongqing, and will start producing up to 400,000 units annually by 2013.

Marin Burela, president of CFMA, explained that project would expand the venture’s manufacturing and technical capabilities in China, “enabling us to provide an increased level of high-quality, and fuel-efficient vehicles with smart technologies to the Chinese consumers.”

The project carries an initial budget of $350 million. Its output will be 6-speed automatic transmissions for Ford vehicles produced and sold in China.

Currently Ford has two other major capital expansions underway in China: a $490-million assembly plant for CFMA to produce 150,000 units per year, starting next year; and a $300-million commercial vehicle assembly plant, in a venture with Jiangling Motors Corp.

CFMA is a joint venture of Ford with Chongqing Changan Automobile Co. and Mazda Motor Corp. that builds and sells four models in China: the Ford Fiesta, Ford Focus, Ford Mondeo, and Ford S-max. CFMA also distributes Mazda and other brands in China. Chongqing Changan Automobile owns 50% of CFMA, Ford holds 35%, and Mazda controls 15%.

"This transmission plant investment represents yet another important milestone in Ford's accelerated growth plan for this important market," stated Joe Hinrichs, president of Ford Asia Pacific and Africa. "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."

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