April 2, 2015 / 1:44 PM / 3 years ago

Ford China joint venture acquires factory in $1.1 billion deal

BEIJING (Reuters) - Ford Motor Co’s (F.N) joint venture with Chongqing Changan Automobile Co Ltd (000625.SZ) will takeover and upgrade a factory in northeast China in a 6.6 billion yuan ($1.1 billion) deal, a company spokeswoman said.

The Ford logo is pictured at the Ford Motor Co plant in Genk December 17, 2014. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

The factory will increase Changan Ford’s production in China by 200,000 vehicles annually to help meet the country’s growing demand for passenger vehicles.

“We are looking for long-term growth opportunities,” Ford spokeswoman Claire Li said, adding that it will help the company’s geographic coverage of the country. Ford currently has factories in western China’s Chongqing and Hangzhou in the Yangtze River Delta on the eastern coast.

The factory was previously operated by Harbin Hafei Automobile Group Co, a subsidiary of Chongqing Changan’s parent company. The revamped factory will begin producing Changan Ford cars in the second half of 2016, Li said.

Vehicle sales in China, the world’s largest car market, rose 6.9 percent last year and are expected to grow 7 percent in 2015, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers says.

Reporting by Norihiko Shirouzu and Jake Spring, editing by David Evans

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