Ford Expands Heavy Duty Truck Presence in China With Partner JMC

China’s big truck market is the largest in the world.

The Ford Motor Company is expanding its presence in China’s heavy duty truck market through Jiangling Motors Corporation, its Chinese partner. Last week, Ford announced that JMC had purchased a 100 percent stake in Taiyuan Changan Heavy Truck Company, a deal that still must be approved by local Chinese officials. The agreement will help Ford build its stake in the world’s largest truck market, which sells more heavy duty trucks annually than North America, South America and Europe combined.

China Operations

FordFord has been seeking a greater presence in China across all vehicle spectrums. The automaker trails the major foreign players in China including Volkswagen AG, the General Motors Company and Toyota Motors Corporation. Ford has been expanding its Chinese presence in recent years with plans to introduce 15 new vehicles and 20 advanced powertrains to China by 2015.

JMC is based in Nanchang where Ford is investing $300 million to build a new manufacturing facility. That plant comes on line in 2013 and will produce JMC and Ford vehicles. Ford holds a 30 percent share in JMC and has invested nearly $5 billion in China over the past decade.

JMC Shareholder

Said Ford Motor China chairman and CEO, Dave Schoch, “Being a major shareholder of JMC, Ford is delighted to witness JMC’s rapid development and business expansion in the commercial vehicle market. Ford has enormous experience and world-class products and technologies, including in the heavy truck business, which can be deployed to support JMC after the acquisition.”

Schoch is also vice chairman of JMC and was on hand with company executives and government officials last week to sign the agreement. The acquired company was owned by a pair of Chinese government agencies and is located in Taiyuan in Shanxi Province, or approximately 516 miles southeast of Beijing, China’s capital.

Ford Transit

Ford’s partnership with JMC extends back many years with its Ford Transit van produced in China by JMC since 1995. That van was first introduced in Europe in 1965 and will find its way to the North American market for the first time in 2013. The large van is outfitted with gasoline or diesel engines, with both options to be available stateside.

Ford heavy duty truck technology will come in handy for JMC as it absorbs Taiyuan. The province is rich in raw materials and heavy duty trucks are deployed to move these materials to manufacturing locations throughout China. In 2011, nearly 1 million heavy duty trucks were sold in China with demand expected to remain strong for years to come.