Ford announces major expansion in China production capacity

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The Ford badge and E-Transit logo are seen on a vehicle at Ford’s Dunton Technical Centre in Dunton

Ford announced its biggest industrial expansion in 50 years, as part of a US$5 billion plan to double production capacity in China by 2015, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The automaker expects to be able to create 1.2 million passenger cars a year in China by that time, just under half the number it made in North America last year.

Under its joint venture with Chongqing Changan Automobile (200625.SHE, 000625.SHE), Ford will construct its fifth factory in China, a US$760 million plant in Hangzhou capable of building 250,000 cars a year.

Ford trails other major auto makers by years in the China market, including General Motors.

However, auto market growth is slowing in China, and Ford’s sales in China during the first quarter were down 14% year-on-year, even as its rival GM rose 9%.

Though it does not provide specific data for each country, Ford lost US$83 million in the Asia-Pacific region last year due to investment and expansion.

China Economic Review

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Tony Simon

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