In support of Ford Motor Co.’s tremendous growth in China, the carmaker and its Chinese partners will soon open Ford's first transmission plant in the country. Construction will start in July.
Ford revealed that Changan Ford Mazda Automobile Ltd. (its passenger-vehicle joint venture in China) inked a memorandum of understanding with the Chongqing municipal government with regards to the plant. The joint venture will fund the initial investment, estimated at $350 million.
This plant will manufacture six-speed automatic transmissions and it is set to begin production in the fourth quarter of 2013.
Ford said that it can produce up to 400,000 units annually for Ford-brand vehicles made and sold in China. The factory will be put up in Chongqing's New North Zone. In 2010, Ford sold 582,500 vehicles in China.
It is aiming to catch up to General Motors Co., which has revealed plans to double its sales in China to about 5 million vehicles by 2015.
Last April, Ford said that it will offer 15 new vehicles; it will double its dealerships from 340; and add 1,200 new jobs in China by 2015. Joe Hinrichs, president of Ford Asia Pacific, said that the investment for this transmission plant investment is a milestone in Ford's accelerated growth plan for this significant market.