Ford Motor Co. has increased its manufacturing capacity in China to more than 600,000 automobiles annually as it opened the doors of its third passenger-vehicle assembly plant in the country. The $490 million factory is set up by the automaker's partnership with Changan Automobile Group Co.
This facility has 1 million square meters and is located in the southwestern Chinese city of Chongqing. It will be producing the new-generation Focus sedans, according to Ford’s statement.
Ford China's Chairman David Schoch stated that the new "flexible" factory will help provide the capacity to materialize their "aggressive" growth plans for the "largest automotive market" in the world. The facility's production line will be able to manufacture six various types of vehicles, Ford disclosed. Expansion into China is part of CEO Alan Mulally's drive to boost annual worldwide sales by 50 percent to 8 million units beginning in 2015.
The CEO also aims to have one third of its deliveries in Asia beginning 2020. Ford intends to introduce to China 15 new models by 2015. Growth of automobile sales in China slowed last year from 32% in 2010 after the government took out a two-year package of rebates and tax breaks that aided the nation to outperform the total car sales in the U.S., including the commercial automobiles, which increased by 2.5% last year according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers. The industry group predicted that deliveries will accelerate to 8% this year.
Ford will be displaying during the 2010 Paris Motor Show the core three-model line-up of the Focus. This will be the first time that the three models will be exhibited at one time. The three models are the four-door sedan, five-door hatchback, and the five-door wagon. What makes this exhibition more remarkable is that the full details of the models are being shown even before production begins in North America and Europe, scheduled on the later part of 2010. Sales will then start by the early part of 2011.
Making sure that the new Focus is set apart from the rest is its athletic and smooth design. In addition, it is equipped with excellent yet affordable features and technologies that have not been seen in this class. The new Focus is also able to deliver the highest standards when it comes to a number of characteristic like detailed craftsmanship and quality.
Fuel economy is outstanding. Combining all of these ensures that the driving dynamics of the Focus is taken to new heights. According to Derrick Kuzak, Group Vice-President of Product Development at Ford, when it comes to what the best the brand has to offer, the Focus is the best example of it. The company, he continued, is more than happy to learn that the first units will soon be delivered to the customers.
By investing in the C-car platform, he added, the company has been able to deliver to customers around the world a product that shows quality, technology, safety, and fuel efficiency, and all inside a model that is affordable. For Ford, the Focus remains to be its most celebrated product around the world. Originally launched in 1998, at least 10 million units have already been sold.
There is no doubt that customers around the world have chosen the Focus not only because of the comfort, value, and safety, but more importantly, because it is a vehicle that is really fun to drive. Through its exceptional global development program that was part of the ONE Ford strategy, the brand expects the new Focus not only to continue the already successful tradition shown by the previous models but to also demonstrate that the brand is changing for the better.