In southwest China, Ford Motor Co. had recently broken ground on its engine factory that is part of a plan to increase worldwide sales by 50% within four years.
Valued at around $500 million, this plant located in the western Chinese city of Chongqing is expected to more than double engine capacity for the joint venture Changan Ford Mazda Automobile Co. to 750,000 units when production begins in 2013.
Last week, Ford revealed its forecast that partly because of the growth in Asia, its global sales will rise by 50% to 8 million vehicles annually by 2015.
CEO Alan Mulally predicts that small cars will make up 55% of vehicle sales. He also said that by 2020, one-third of sales will come from Asia. Last April, J.D. Power & Associates said that majority of Ford sales and profit is from the U.S. and Europe. For the month of April, Ford held 2.4% share of the passenger-vehicle market in China while GM had a 10% market share.
Ford said that the engines that will be produced in Chongqing will be fitted in Ford-branded vehicles that are assembled and offered in China. Ford plans for its lineup in China to triple in number.
By the mid-decade, Ford will offer 15 models, including the Kuga small sport-utility vehicle, CFO Lewis Booth revealed last week.
Ford aims that by 2015, it will double the number of its dealerships in China to 680. For the four factories that Ford is planning to build in China, it is investing $1.6 billion. Jim Farley, Ford's marketing chief, said that by 2012, Ford will have the capacity to build 1.1 million vehicles in China.