China's National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) has granted approval for the Changan Automotive/Ford/Mazda joint venture engine company project in Jiangning Economic & Technological Development Zone (JNDZ) near Nanjing in Jiangsu province.

The three partners signed a contract to establish the new engine venture on April 19 in Nanjing, the location of the future plant.

The new engine facility, named Changan Ford Mazda Engine Company Ltd., is designed with an annual capacity of 350,000 engines, and will be flexible for future expansion. It will initially build two engine 'families'.

Scheduled to be operational in 2007, the facility will primarily supply engines to the nearby Changan Ford Nanjing Company, the joint venture vehicle assembly plant currently under construction in JNDZ to be operated by Changan, Ford and Mazda.

The facility will also have capacity and flexibility to supply engines, as needed, to the partners' other assembly operations in China.

In January 2005, the Chinese government granted approval for the 190,000 square metre joint venture vehicle assembly plant in Nanjing. The plant will have an initial annual capacity of 160,000 vehicles, and can be quickly expanded.

With a building area of 92,000 square meters, the new engine manufacturing facility is approximately one kilometre west of the vehicle assembly plant. Groundbreaking and construction will start soon.