officially opens its new $500 million engine plant in Chongqing, China, which will double its engine production capacity in the country to 750,000 units annually.
The plant, part of the ChanganAutomobile joint venture, will have initial capacity of 400,000 units and plays a key role in Ford’s Asia-Pacific growth plan.
The 1.8 million sq.-ft. (165,000 sq.-m) facility employs technologies to minimize environmental impact by reducing water, chemical and electricity usage, as well as significantly cut carbon-dioxide emissions, the auto maker says.
Changan Ford initially will manufacture two engines at the plant, a 1.5L naturally aspirated 4-cyl. and a 1.0L direct-injected turbocharged EcoBoost mill. The engines will power the Ford EcoSport cross/utility vehicle and Fiesta B-car, two of the 15 new vehicles Ford plans to launch in China by 2015.
“This kind of expansion is nearly unprecedented, and it really reflects the level of commitment we have to this region,” Ford CEO Alan Mulally says in a statement.
In addition to being environmentally friendly, the new plant also incorporates Ford’s single manufacturing operating system to boost efficiency and lower overall production costs, the auto maker says.