Ford Motor Company Opens China Plant, Inks Battery Deal With Panasonic

Ford Motor (NYSE:F): Ford Motor Co. and its joint venture Changan Ford Mazda Automobile, or CFMA, opened a new assembly plant, “CFMA Chongqing Assembly 2” or CQ2. Home of the all-new Ford Focus, CQ2 incorporates global industry best practices to efficiently and safely produce high quality vehicles with minimal environmental impact. CFMA is investing $490M in CQ2, which will increase its production capacity in China by 150,000 units – to over 600,000 vehicle units overall. This is CFMA’s second assembly plant in Chongqing and its third in China. With two assembly plants and engine and transmission plants already operating, Chongqing is now the largest global manufacturing location for Ford outside southeast Michigan. The plant is ramping up production of the all new Ford Focus, and will have produced more than 150 prototypes for testing as it prepares for the market launch in Q2. At CQ2 and elsewhere, up to ten different kinds of vehicles will be produced on this platform, and the company will sell 2 million vehicles this year based on this platform. This is the first of 15 new vehicles Ford (NYSE:F) is bringing to Chongqing by 2015.

Ford (NYSE:F) expects to double the number of dealerships in China to 680 by 2015, says David Schoch, chairman and CEO of Ford’s China operations, as the company launches a half-billion dollar plant, reports Reuters.

Panasonic (NYSE:PC) announced that it will supply lithium-ion battery cells for Ford Motor Co.’s (NYSE:F) hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles. The upcoming models of the Ford Fusion Hybrid Electric and C-Max Hybrid Electric as well as the Ford Fusion Energi and C-Max Energi plug-in hybrids will use Panasonic battery cells in combination with a gasoline engine.

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