Ford Motor Credit Company has received final approval to commence business operations in China and expects to begin providing auto financing in the country at the beginning of the third quarter.

"China is a growing market that is an integral part of Ford Motor Company's global strategy," said Jack Hu, president of Ford Automotive Finance (China) Limited (FAFC), the name under which Ford Motor Credit will do business in China. "We intend to help Ford Motor Company enhance its presence in China by supporting the sale of Ford vehicles."

The approval came at the end of a multi-stage process that lasted more than a year. The final phase required Ford Motor Credit to hire personnel and set up processes for review by Chinese regulators.

FAFC will initially concentrate on financing the vehicle inventory needs of dealers in China. In the meantime, it plans to pilot consumer instalment loans in select markets.

FAFC will support the sale of Ford Motor Company vehicles manufactured in China as well as those imported into the country. Although initially FAFC will offer vehicle inventory wholesale loans for Ford brand dealers, it will subsequently expand financing to dealers of other Ford Motor Company brands including Volvo, Land Rover and Jaguar.

"We have taken a prudent course in China," said Mike Bannister, chairman and chief executive officer of Ford Motor Credit Company. "We plan to establish a solid foundation on which to build our long-term operations."