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CHINA: Ford JV completes assembly plant expansion

By just-auto.com editorial team | 21 October 2005

Changan Ford Automobile, a Ford joint venture in China, has celebrated the completion of a major expansion programme at its Chongqing assembly plant.

Annual production capacity has been boosted to 150,000 units with a new stamping plant, engine plant and assembly plant.

Production of the Focus, the fourth Ford brand vehicle made in China , began in early September at Chongqing.

In October 2003, Ford and Changan Automotive said they would invest over $1 billion to expand their operations in China.

In addition to the Chongqing expansion, Ford and partners Changan Automotive Group and Mazda have begun construction of a new vehicle assembly facility in Nanjing, where a new engine plant is also under way.

The adjacent engine and vehicle assembly sites in Nanjing are expected to be operational in early 2007. Initial capacity at Nanjing vehicle assembly will be 160,000 units annually.

By 2007, with further planned expansion in Chongqing , combined total production capacity at both sites will be approximately 360,000 units, 18 times that of 2003. The installed capacity can also be quickly increased if necessary.

Changan Ford is also expanding its sales network. To date, around 130 dealers have been signed up and the number will reach 150 by the end of this year.

Ford is expected to build more models in China but has yet to say which. Currently, the Fiesta, Mondeo and Focus cars are built by Changan Ford, and the Transit van by Jiangling Motors.