Ford, the second largest US automaker, has been a late comer to the Chinese auto market, the largest in the world, so they were in a hurry to launch a massive production increase offensive.
The company has recently commissioned an all-new engine factory in the Jiangxi province, which marks the end of a wide-ranging manufacturing expansion – one called by the company as its most ambitious during the past 50 years or so. The new JMC Xiaolan Engine Plant in Nanchang, a $150-million production facility is tasked to build Ecoboost turbocharged 2-liter gasoline 4-cylinder engines for the Ford Transit commercial van, the new Ford Everest crossover and Tourneo multi-purpose vehicle. Total production output capacity is of 200,000 units and comes to complement the two vehicle assembly facilities Ford already has in Nanchang. The new plant’s opening signals the end of the massive Ford manufacturing strategy in China – which brought seven all-new vehicle, engine and transmission plants to the country since 2012. The latest expansion phase took the grand total of manufacturing facilities to ten.
“The launch of the JMC Xiaolan Engine Plant marks the completion of Ford’s largest global manufacturing growth in more than 50 years,” said John Lawler, chairman and CEO, Ford China. “With seven new manufacturing facilities across all regions of China—and ten plants in total—we will continue to meet Chinese customer demand for world-class Ford vehicles.” Ford has partnered with JMC since 1995 and has control over 32 percent of the company, as foreign automakers in China are not allowed to do business unless they have joint ventures with Chinese local companies.