BEIJING (Reuters) - Ford Motor Co. will sign an initial agreement to explore the possibility of exporting vehicles to China, part of a multi-billion dollar commercial pact to be sealed during Chinese President Hu Jintao's visit to the United States.
"Ford Motor Company is evaluating opportunities to import vehicles to China from the U.S., subject to our business plan and to Chinese regulatory approvals governing vehicle imports," the automaker said in a statement.
Ford, a relative latecomer to China, has been accelerating its expansion in the world's largest auto market where General Motors Co. and other automakers are competing fiercely for a larger share.
It is building a new car plant with its partners Chongqing Changan Automobile Co. and Mazda Motor Corp., and, at the same time, adding a $300 million new facility jointly with partly-owned Jiangling Motor.
Over the next four years, Ford intends to introduce 50 new products and powertrains in Asia and Africa, Joe Hinrichs, Ford's president in the region, said at the Detroit auto show last week.
Ford assembles Fiesta, Mondeo, Focus and X-MAX models in a three-way tie-up with Changan and Mazda. It also launched its Edge sport utility vehicle late last year to tap growth in the fast-growing segment.