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Ford to invest 350 million in a Chinese transmission plant with serious capacity

Ford, in collaboration with its Chinese partners, is building its first transmission plant in China in support of the company's aggressive growth plan in the world's largest auto market. Ford's passenger vehicle joint venture in China, Changan Ford Mazda Automobile Ltd. (CFMA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the transmission plant project today with the Municipal Government of Chongqing.
Posted: May 19, 2011 - 5:51PM
Author: Don Bain

The plant represents an initial investment of US$350 million entirely funded by CFMA. The facility will produce sophisticated high-efficiency 6-speed automatic transmissions with an initial capacity of up to 400,000 units per year, supplying Ford brand vehicles produced and sold locally by CFMA.

"This transmission plant investment represents yet another important milestone in Ford's accelerated growth plan for this important market," said Joe Hinrichs, president of Ford Asia Pacific and Africa. "Together with prior investments announced in the past few years, this new plant demonstrates Ford's unprecedented commitment to the China market and how we are leveraging advanced global technologies to support Ford's aggressive plan to introduce 15 brand new vehicles to China by 2015."

Located in Chongqing's New North Zone, the plant is scheduled to break ground this July and start production during the fourth quarter of 2013.

"As CFMA's first transmission plant in China, this project will greatly expand our manufacturing footprint and technical capabilities in China, enabling us to provide an increased level of high-quality, and fuel-efficient vehicles with smart technologies to the Chinese consumers,” said Marin Burela, president of CFMA. “We are incredibly excited about this important and strategic investment."

CFMA manufactures the award-winning Ford Mondeo, Ford Focus, Ford Fiesta and Ford S-MAX.

This new transmission plant is just the latest in a variety of investments previously announced by Ford and its partners in China.

A Memorandum of Understanding was signed between Changan Ford Mazda Automobile Ltd (CFMA) and Chongqing Municipal Government in September 2010 for a new engine plant with a total investment of US$ 500 million. It will start construction later this year and is slated to begin fabrication in 2013, initial producing 400,000 units annually.

Last year on July 18, 2010, Ford Motor China's commercial vehicle investment Jiangling Motors Corp (JMC) broke ground for a new US$300-million assembly plant in Nanchang, Jiangxi Province.

As far back as September 2009, Ford announced a US$490 million investmentin a new passenger car facility in Chongqing with a capacity of 150,000 units per year. It will boost the total annual production of CFMA to roughly 600,000 units by 2012 to help fulfill the increasing demand for Ford vehicles in China. The plant will begin manufacturing Ford's next-generation Ford Focus next year.