Ford may build new auto plant in China

It was reported this morning that Ford may need to build a new production plant in China if the breakup of an agreement with Chongqing Changan Automobile (CCA) and Mazda Motor Corp. gains regulatory approval.

CCA operates two plants – one in the western city of Chongqing and another in the eastern metropolis of Nanjing. The latter produces Mazda2, Mazda3 and Ford Fiesta compact cars.

If the split is approved the Nanjing plant will only produce Mazda vehicles.

Planning to sell 1.5 million vehicles in the Asian nation and claim an 8 percent market share by 2015, Ford is reportedly planning to build a new plant in the northern city of Tianjin.

"Certainly we have ambitious plans to continue to grow China, the world's largest automotive market, just as we do for the rest of the growing markets in our Asia Pacific and Africa region." an unnamed Ford representative stated in an email message. “We have nothing to announce at this time, however.”

The robust American manufacturer is a recent player in the Chinese auto market, but already has two plants other than the joint venture with Mazda and CCA in Nanjing. One with its partly-owned Jiangling Motors Corp. in the southeastern province of Jiangxi and another in Chongqing.

Ford reported sales of 582,467 vehicles in China during 2010, claiming a 3.2 percent market share. Sales this January are up 20 percent over last year totaling 53,340 units.

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