Ford will again expand its already-expanded factory in Chongqing, China, to meet growing demand in the world’s largest car market.

It opened a second assembly plant there last February to build the latest Focus. The Changan Ford Mazda Automobile joint venture facility, known as CQ2, boosted production capacity 150,000 to over 600,000 and was Ford’s third plant in China. 

Now Ford and its JV will spend approximately US$600m to again expand capacity in Chongqing by 350,000 passenger vehicles, raising total local capacity to 950,000 vehicles annually. The new investment will increase Ford’s total spend in China to approximately US$4.1bn.

“We are going further in China and across Asia,” said Joe Hinrichs, president of Ford Asia Pacific and Africa. “This expansion is an investment in Ford’s long-term future, globally and will help us to achieve our goal of increasing worldwide sales by nearly 50% by mid-decade to about 8m vehicles per year. With this additional investment and capacity expansion, Ford continues to lay the foundation for long-term growth in the world’s largest automotive market.”

The expansion will extend the facilities at Chongqing – Ford’s largest global manufacturing location outside southeast Michigan -with a new assembly line, body and paint shop. CFMA already operates the two assembly plants and an engine plant in Chongqing, with another engine plant and a transmission plant currently under construction.

Construction on the extension is expected to begin immediately and the first vehicle is expected to come off the line late in 2014.

“With a current growth rate of about 5%, the Chinese auto industry remains the biggest growth market in the world,” said Dave Schoch, chairman and CEO, Ford China. “Expanding our production capacity in Chongqing is a key part of our aggressive growth plans in China and Asia, and will allow us to bring more high quality, safe, fuel efficient, fun-to-drive vehicles from our global portfolio to Chinese customers.”

CFMA’s second assembly plant in Chongqing, opened in February, is a fully integrated facility with stamping, body assembly, paint, trim and final assembly.

Ford will introduce 15 new vehicles and 20 new engines and transmissions in China by 2015 as part of its plan to broaden its product range  and powertrain offering in China.

Utilising technologies such as turbocharging, direct injection, twin independent variable camshaft timing (Ti-VCT) and six-speed transmissions, the upgraded powertrain portfolio will deliver over 20% in fuel economy improvement to Ford’s passenger vehicle fleet in China by 2015 while reducing tailpipe carbon dioxide emissions by 20%.