Former Ford CEO Alan Mulally introduced the Escort at the Beijing motor show earlier this year

Former Ford CEO Alan Mulally introduced the Escort at the Beijing motor show earlier this year

Ford began production of its Escort compact saloon car at a new plant in China this week, in the south-western city of Chongqing.

This is the third vehicle assembly plant controlled by Changan-Ford Automobile – a joint venture between Ford and state-owned Changan Automobile.

This is part of an aggressive expansion drive by the US carmaker into the world’s largest auto market. It plans to launch 15 new models in the country by the end of 2015, all fitted with a new generation of fuel-efficient engines and transmissions.

The Chongqing plant is capable of producing 360,000 vehicles per year, in addition to the 600,000 units of capacity the company already had at its first two facilities. 

A fourth plant is scheduled to become operational in 2015 in the city of Hangzhou.