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CFMA to build 3rd plant in Chongqing

CHONGQING – Chang’an-Ford-Mazda Automobile Co., Ltd. (CFMA), Ford’s passenger vehicle joint venture in China, is expected to build its third plant in an industrial park in Chongqing, Chongqing Evening News reported on May 15.

Ford executives in the U.S. have approved the project, said an insider from the industrial park. A land of about 1.33 square kilometers has been reserved for the plant, according to the insider.

The planned new facility would mainly manufacture Ford’s high-end cars, SUVs and crossovers, with an annual capacity of over 300,000 units. An engine plant will also be available in the park to supply the production in the new facility.

Construction of the third plant might be delayed because of the financial crisis, but Ford will not change its determination in investing in the Chinese market, according to the insider. The U.S. automaker attaches great hope to China and will definitely inject more funds to this world’s largest market, added the insider.

Yao Yu, a CFMA’s spokesman, told 163.com that the third plant project has not been settled and he could not disclose more information about the project. However, analysts speculate that total investment for the project would be close to ¥8 billion ($1.15 billion), two times money of its second plant in Nanjing.

In 2001, CFMA set up its first 467,000-square-meter assembly plant in Chongqing. The plant now owns two production lines and its 250,000-unit capacity is almost running at full throttle. CFMA’s second plant is located in Nanjing, East China’s Jiangsu Province, with an initial capacity of 160,000 vehicles. The 1.33-square-kilometer whole vehicle facility and 933,000-square-meter engine plant were put into use in September 2007.

Ford China aims to increase its market share to 10 percent in passenger vehicle segment. That means an annual sale of at least 500,000 vehicles, double of its current sales.

CFMA sold 25,882 cars in April, up 33 percent from 19,462 cars a year earlier, according to CBUAutostats. Total sales in the first four months came to 82,957 vehicles, up 1.83 percent from 81,465 units in the same period last year.

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