Nov 30 Ford Motor Co and Mazda Motor Corp
and their local Chinese partner, Changan Automobile Co
Ltd, said on Friday that they had obtained final
approval from the Chinese government to split their three-way
manufacturing and sales joint venture into two.
Starting immediately, Changan Ford Mazda Automobile Co
(CFMA) will break into two 50-50 joint ventures, the partners
said in a statement. Changan will be in one venture with Ford
and in the other with Mazda.
Changan Ford, the going concern in the southwestern Chinese
city of Chongqing, will assume all of CFMA's Ford-related
business, including development, manufacturing, marketing and
sales of Ford-branded vehicles in China, while Changan Mazda, to
be incorporated in the eastern city of Nanjing, will assume all
of CFMA's Mazda-related business, the companies said.
The three companies, which had previously submitted the
restructuring plan to local and central government officials,
said their partnership "will continue at a strategic level, in
areas of benefit to all parties." They did not provide details
on those areas.
Executives close to the three-way joint venture previously
said the split stemmed partly from Ford's decision in 2008 to
raise money by reducing its controlling stake in Mazda to 13
percent from one-third. The U.S. automaker later further reduced
its Mazda stake, which is now less than 3 percent.
Ford and Mazda had said they were seeking more freedom to
boost their presence individually in China, which in 2009
surpassed the United States as the world's largest auto market.