CHONGQING, CHINA-Ford Motor Co.’s passenger car joint venture in China, Changan Ford Mazda Automobile (CFMA), broke ground today for a new engine plant in Chongqing.

The $500 million investment will more than double CFMA's annual engine production capacity in China to 750,000 units when it comes online in 2013. These engines will equip Ford-brand vehicles manufactured and sold in the country.

The new engine plant represents one of several new investments that Ford has made to support its aggressive expansion plan in China. Last July, Ford's commercial vehicle partner in China, Jiangling Motors Corporation (JMC), broke ground for a $300 million vehicle assembly plant in Nanchang. JMC produces the Ford Transit, a leader in China's light bus segment.

In April of this year, Ford announced that it will bring 15 new vehicles to China by 2015. These products will strengthen Ford's position in existing segments while driving new growth in others. In addition, Ford signed a memorandum of understanding in May to build its first transmission plant in the country, also in Chongqing, with an initial annual capacity of up to 400,000 units. Early next year, Ford's second passenger-car assembly plant in Chongqing will begin production, starting with the new Ford Focus.

Ford plans to double the number of employees and dealership outlets it has in China by mid-decade.