Ford CEO Unveils New Figo for India Market and Export Sales, New Manufacturing Plant in China with Changan
|The Ford Figo. Click to enlarge.|
Ford Motor Company President and CEO Alan Mulally revealed the new Ford Figo, the anticipated new car to be produced in India and targeted at the India and export market. Ford said that Mulally’s visit for the reveal underscores the strategic importance of India in Ford’s future plans.
The new Ford Figo will be manufactured at Ford’s expanded integrated manufacturing facility near Chennai, which is undergoing a $500 million transformation to become a regional center of excellence for Ford small car production. (Earlier post.) The investment is doubling production capacity to 200,000 units per year.
Ford Figo is designed and engineered to compete in India’s small car segment, which accounts for more than 70% of the new vehicle market. It leverages Ford’s small-car platform architecture, sharing underlying technology with the Ford Fiesta. Volume production is due to begin in 2010.
Ford said that is will provide further details about the vehicle closer to its production launch.
China expansion. Separately, Ford announced that its joint venture with Changan in China—Changan Ford Mazda Automobile (CFMA)—is building a new, manufacturing facility in Chongqing, scheduled for completion in 2012.
The investment, valued at $490 million (RMB 3.34 billion), represents a significant step in Ford’s continuing expansion strategy in the Asia Pacific and Africa region. The new plant initially will be capable of producing 150,000 units a year, boosting total annual production capacity at CFMA operations to 600,000 units by 2012.
The highly flexible 1-million-square-meter manufacturing facility begins production of Ford’s next-generation Ford Focus in 2012 and will be capable of producing a diversified range of products in the future.
Globally, we are committed to delivering a full lineup of Ford brand vehicles with best-in-class quality, fuel efficiency, safety and innovative technologies that our customers value and want to drive. Today’s announcement reinforces our commitment to the further expansion of our China operations to meet the continued rise in demand from Chinese consumers for world-class Ford products and services.—Alan Mulally
The new plant—Ford’s second in Chongqing and third in China under its CFMA joint venture—will be located in Chongqing’s New North Zone industrial complex.
The next-generation Focus, scheduled to debut in January 2010 at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, will be built on the company’s new global C-car platform. The new platform will be the basis for vehicles sold in all regions with total global sales expected to exceed 2 million units annually by 2012.
The new global C-car platform ultimately will underpin up to 10 unique models, fulfilling the global demands for a variety of C-segment vehicles. The C-segment is currently the largest global segment. By 2013, C-segment vehicles are projected to account for nearly 28% of global sales.
In addition to the car manufacturing plant already operational in Chongqing—where the Focus, Mondeo and S-MAX are built—the Ford-Changan the joint venture has a manufacturing facility in Nanjing, China, where the new, global Ford Fiesta is built. Supporting these assembly facilities is the Changan Ford Mazda Engine Company (CFME) joint venture in Nanjing&mash;one of the largest engine manufacturing facilities in China with an annual production capacity of 350,000 units.
Ford plans to introduce its EcoBoost engine technology in China next year, as well as other fuel-efficient technologies, such as our PowerShift transmission. Ford’s EcoBoost engines combine turbocharging and direct-injection technology to deliver fuel consumption and CO2 emissions reduction of up to 20% versus conventional, larger-displacement gasoline engines with similar power output. By 2013, Ford will be producing 1.3 million EcoBoost engines annually on a global basis for application across a wide array of vehicles from small cars to light trucks.
The company’s new PowerShift transmission technology will deliver the fuel efficiency of a manual gearbox with the convenience and ease of a premium automatic transmission, making it one of the key technologies for Ford’s global small car platforms. Ford has committed that nearly all of its transmissions will be six-speed gearboxes by 2013.
Ford’s other partner in China, Jiangling Motors Corporation in Nanchang, produces commercial vehicles, including the Ford Transit, one of the best sellers in China’s high-end light commercial van segment.