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JMC's new production site begins operation, manufacturer to bring new Ford SUV to China

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Gasgoo.com (Shanghai June 24) - Jiangling Motors and global partner Ford have recently held a ceremony for the Chinese manufacturer's new automobile and engine production site, which has just begun operation, auto.sina.com.cn reported today. The ceremony, which was held in Jiangxi's provincial capital of Nanchang, was attended by Ford CEO Alan Mulally.

JMC's new automobile factory will cover a space of 2,000 mu. The site, which will have nearly four billion yuan ($647.06m) invested in it, will be able to manufacture 300,000 vehicles and 200,000 engines annually. Construction on the site, which includes a flexible welding facility, as well as fully automated stamping, production and solar-powered battery assembly lines, began in 2011.

At the event, Mr. Mulally (pictured below) also announced that JMC will bring over a new Ford SUV, codenamed U375, and new gasoline engine to China. The SUV, which is a brand new model, will be Ford's first in the country to not be sold via the Changan Ford joint venture. According to various reports it will boast similar measurements to the VW Tiguan, and be outfitted with a domestically manufactured 2.0 L turbocharged engine. The model will make its worldwide launch in the latter half of next year, with Chinese mass production slated to begin in 2015.

Officials from JMC and Ford were both tight-lipped when asked about how the new SUV will be sold. "The issue of dealerships is presently a very sensitive one, [and both companies] are continuing discussions on how to resolve it," JMC Board Chairman Wang Xigao said.

Furthermore, JMC will also manufacture a new own brand SUV carrying the Yusheng name. The SUV will be powered by either a 1.5 L or 1.8 L gasoline engine.

Due to the fact that JMC's sales have doubled from 2010 to 2012, limited production capacity has become a major issue for the manufacturer. Ford has previously announced a purchase of JMC's B-shares, raising its stake in the manufacturer to 31.5 percent and becoming its single largest stockholder.




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