Ford Motor Co., today opened one of the world’s newest, most efficient and sustainable automotive assembly plants in Chongqing, China.
The $490 million assembly plant, set up by the Dearborn, Michigan-based company’s venture with Changan Automobile Group Co. (CFORDZ), spans across 1 million square meters in the southwestern Chinese city of Chongqing and will produce the new-generation Focus sedans, Ford said in a statement today.
This is CFMA’s (Changan Ford Mazda Automobile) second assembly plant in Chongqing and its third in China. With two assembly plants and engine and transmission plants already operating, Chongqing is now the largest global manufacturing location for Ford outside southeast Michigan.
The plant is ramping up production of the new Ford Focus, and will have produced more than 150 prototypes for testing as it prepares for the market launch in the second quarter.
The car will expand Ford’s local product portfolio, which now includes the previous generation Focus as well as Mondeo, X-Max, Fiesta and Transit models.
In September Ford broke ground at its first transmission plant in China, also in Chongqing, with an initial annual capacity of up to 400,000 units. In July 2010, Ford’s commercial vehicle partner in China, Jiangling Motors Corporation (JMC) also broke ground for a new USD 300 million vehicle assembly plant in Nanchang.
Ford sold 320,658 vehicles in China last year, compared with Volkswagen’s annual tally of 2.26 million and GM’s 2.55 million.
In an effort to narrow the gap, Ford plans to bring 15 new vehicles to China by 2015, starting with the new Focus, which is scheduled to hit showrooms across China in the second quarter.