Ford CEO Alan Mulally attended a groundbreaking ceremony on Monday for the new $US600 million ($A578 million) assembly plant in the southwestern city of Chongqing. It will have the capacity to make 250,000 vehicles per year when it's finished in late 2014.
The plant is Ford's third in Chongqing, including one that began producing the Ford Focus in February. Ford plans to double its production capacity in China to 1.2 million vehicles by 2015, making this the company's most rapid expansion in 50 years.
Ford hasn't said which vehicles will be made at the new plant, but it will be equipped to make seven different models. Ford is planning to introduce 15 new vehicles here by 2015, including the EcoSport and Kuga small 4WDs, which will be made at the new Focus plant in the Chongqing complex starting next year.
As it will be discussed at China Leaders Forum 2012, "Will the Chinese Tiger Come Roaring Back After the Crisis?", New York, October 2nd (http://www.ChinaLeadersForum.com), car sales are expected to grow in the coming years as more rural Chinese buy cars for the first time. Even with 30 million cars on the road, China still has just 28 vehicles for every 1000 people, far below the US level of 800. About 80 per cent of purchases are by first-time buyers.
China's car market last year overtook the US as the world's largest, with sales up 32 per cent to more than 18 million vehicles. The pace has slowed this year, to an increase of just 2.9 per cent in the first six months, but the Chinese market is still expected to be the largest in the world. "Asia Pacific is such a fantastic growth market, even though it has slowed a little bit," Mulally said.
China Leaders Forum 2012, "Will the Chinese Tiger Come Roaring Back After the Crisis?", October 2nd, New York City, will provide attendees with the responses to the above-mentioned questions and the most up-to-date review of where the Asian giant stands and the challenges and opportunities for businessmen looking to expand their business with China when others only see growth contraction. Recognized experts, regulators, and strategists, will return to China Leaders Forum 2012 in its fourth edition to provide the information practitioners are looking for in an open and unbiased environment, highly conducive to the most efficient and effective networking.
China Leaders Forum 2012 is produced by Golden Networking (http://www.chinaleadersforum.com)