Ford to Expand China Operations

By: Lauren Woods

Auto manufacturers are always looking for ways to increase their presence in the global auto market. Increasing profit involves venturing to other markets aside from one's very own. That is why car manufacturers such as the Ford Motor Company are steadily increasing their coverage by expanding their global market.

Recently, the member of the U.S. auto market's Big Three announced that they will be expanding their operation at the world's second largest auto market. China, the giant of a country, is now steadily increasing its demand for vehicles as the country becomes more and more progressive.

Mei-Wei Cheng, the vice-president of the Ford Motor Company and the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Ford Motor China, officially announced their expansion in a news conference. Among other concerns that Cheng reported is the official start of production of engines at the Ford Mazda Engine Company. Cheng announced that the production will start "very soon". The engines to be produced at the said facility will be used to meet the demand for Ford and Mazda vehicles in the country.

Cheng also announced that the newly opened Ford Mazda Automobile Company will begin production of vehicles to be released in the China auto market will begin before the end of 2007. The automobiles to be assembled at the said facility will be suited to the needs of Chinese motorists. The Ford Motor China also announced that the newest generation of the Ford Mondeo will roll out of their production facility within this year. Cheng announced that the Changan Ford Mazda Automobile Company in Nanjing will be producing small cars.

During his talk, Cheng also announced that the Ford Motor Research & Engineering was recently given approval by the Chinese government. He said that the facility will give the Ford Motor China significant boost in engineering. The institution will also help Ford Motor in the global scale as Ford China will be in a position to help its parent company in designing future models.

"These collective announcements underscore Ford Motor's commitment to the China market and China's growing importance to our overall global strategy," says Cheng. "Ford Motor China now encompasses one of the most comprehensive and competitive operations in the Chinese market, including full-scale vehicle and engine production; research, development and engineering; sales; after sales services; and auto financing. Our local partnerships and the smooth implementation of our China strategy have greatly contributed to Ford becoming a leader of China's automobile market," he added further.

As part of the press conference, Cheng announced that the lineup of Ford China will include different vehicle body types such as "premiere and mid-size vehicles, small cars, SAVs, SUVs, and commercial vehicles," according to Cheng. He also pointed out that the company is offering Ford models which have and is currently popular in the European market. "Our hugely successful European products have also proven to be very popular among Chinese consumers," Cheng said. "From the hot selling Focus to the eye-catching S-MAX, and now the sleek Mondeo, Ford will continue to introduce our latest auto design engineering concepts to the China market. This will be supported by our renowned professional sales and after sales services, as well as our creative 'Make Every Day Exciting' brand campaign," added Cheng further.

Ford's business operation in China dates back to 1913 when the most popular car in the world is the Model T. Eighty-eight years later, Ford entered into a partnership with the Chinese company Changan Automotive Corporation. The joint venture was then called the Changan Ford Automobile Corporation. Then, in 2006, Mazda joined the venture and its name was then changed to the Changan Ford Mazda Automobile. With the expansion of this operation more and more Chinese will have access to Ford vehicles which can be equipped with systems.

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