Ford Motor Co. (IW 500/6) broke ground on Wednesday on its new state-of-the-art assembly plant in Hangzhou, as part of the company’s largest expansion in 50 years.
Ford and its joint venture Changan Ford Mazda Automobile (CFMA) will invest $760 million in the new plant, bringing Ford’s total investment in China to approximately US$4.9 billion since 2006.
The plant will double production capacity in China to 1.2 million passenger cars annually by 2015.
“Here in Hangzhou, we are laying the foundation for the future of Ford globally,” said Alan Mulally, CEO, Ford Motor Co. at the event. “At Ford, our goal is to offer fuel-efficient, high-quality vehicles from our global portfolio that customers in markets like China want and value. This state-of-the-art facility will help us reach the goal of increasing worldwide sales nearly 50% by mid-decade to 8 million vehicles per year.”
The Hangzhou plant is part of Ford’s aggressive expansion in Asia Pacific and Africa, with nine new plants (seven under construction) planned.
The new plant further diversifies Ford’s manufacturing footprint in China while giving the company better access to the large customer base in China’s affluent coastal areas.
“This new plant is an important part of our aggressive plan to bring 15 new vehicles and 20 new powertrains to China by 2015, giving customers here even more choice in Ford’s next generation of high-quality, fuel-efficient, fun-to-drive vehicles,”said Dave Schoch, CEO, Ford Motor China.
In February, CFMA opened its second assembly plant in Chongqing, which houses a fully integrated facility including stamping, body assembly, paint, trim and final assembly operations.
On Monday, the company broke ground on another new assembly plant in Chongqing, where a new engine plant as well as a transmission plant are also under construction, making Chongqing the largest manufacturing location for Ford outside southeast Michigan. The joint venture with CFMA also has an assembly and an engine plant in Nanjing, China.