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Ford gains stake in China's heavy truck market via affiliation

Ford bought 30 percent of the Jiangling Motors Corporation, Ltd (JMC) in 1995 to gain a foothold in the immense and emerging Asian auto market, producing the Ford Transit light truck there. Yesterday morning, JMC announced a deal to take full ownership of the Taiyuan Changan Heavy Truck Company (THT).

This transaction still has to be approved by Chinese bureaucrats, but is thought to amount to a $42 million acquisition, according to a post by Jack Perkowski on Forbes.com.

Ford’s performance in Asia has lagged behind General Motors ever since GM bested their rival automaker by reaching a joint venture with the Shanghai Automobile Industry Corporation to produce passenger cars in the sprawling landmass.

Shanghai GM, as the company is known, has become one of the most successful automotive ventures in the ever-expanding market. GM and its joint ventures sold 2,547,171 vehicles in China during 2011, spurring a return to global leadership in the industry. They managed to capture 11.7 percent of that market.

Ford, meanwhile, has increased their sales in the Orient with 519,390 units sold in 2011, a 7 percent increase from the previous year. However, Ford’s sales only comprised 2.7 percent of the market last year.

The brand’s performance in 2012 is rapidly improving and the acquisition of THT by JCM will strengthen their range of products.

“JMC’s acquisition represents a great opportunity to continue to expand the breadth of our business in China across vehicle segments,” Dave Schoch, Chairman and CEO of Ford Motor China told Forbes. “A strong heavy truck operation like Taiyuan will complement Ford’s existing passenger car and light commercial vehicle operations here in the world’s largest and fastest-growing vehicle market.”

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