Ford continues to build in China
American car giant to build a $760 million (CNY 4.8 billion) assembly plant in Hangzhou.
The re-designed Ford Focus Image: Ford
Ford Motor Co has announced plans to build a 250,000 vehicle-per-year assembly plant in the eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou. Upon completion in 2015, the new plant will double the company's current production capacity to 1.2 million units per year.
The news follows an announcement in early April that the company would spend $600 (CNY 3.87 billion) to upgrade its existing Chongqing assembly plant by 350,000 units.
The aggressive expansions are a part of Ford's overall strategy to catch up with China's market leaders, General Motors and Volkswagen, as its Q1 sales of 121,393 vehicles lagged far behind GM China's heady total of 745,152 units. Volkswagen sales have also been strong throughout the year and the German carmaker plans to add its twelfth plant in the country, producing an additional 50,000 units, by 2013.
Ford will operate the new plant through its three-way joint venture with Chang'an Automobile and Mazda, although the company has yet to disclose exactly which models it will produce. Industry commentators speculate that the plant may manufacture the redesigned Ford Focus or the company's new SUV range.