Construction began Sunday on a ¥3.34 billion ($1 = ¥6.8) plant in western China's Chongqing municipality jointly funded by Ford, Mazda and Chongqing Changan Automobile Co Ltd (SHE: 000625). The new factory with an annual capacity of 150,000 vehicles is expected to become operational on a 100 hectare block by 2012. The venture established by the three parties sold 200,000 vehicles in the country in 2008, representing a 4% share of the market where 4.9 million were sold. The value of Chongqing's car making industry climbed 11% to ¥193.2 billion in 2008 from a year ago, representing 35% of its manufacturing sector.


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