SHANGHAI (Bloomberg) -- Ford Motor Co. plans to hire 1,200 new employees in China by 2015, doubling its workforce as it seeks market share in the world's largest auto market.
"In China we're going to significantly increase our resources here," Joe Hinrichs, chief of the automaker's Asia- Pacific and African operations, said today in Shanghai. "We're committed to it, we have the capital, we have the products."
Ford is banking on emerging markets to help it maintain profits after posting $6.56 billion in net income last year, the most since 1999. The company expects 70 percent of its growth in the next 10 years to come from the Asia-Pacific region and Africa, it said in September.
The automaker introduced its Mondeo sedan in China last month and also sells Focus compact cars and Fiesta subcompacts in the world's second-largest economy. Its deliveries in China surged 40 percent to a record 582,467 vehicles last year as rising incomes and economic growth spurred auto demand. Sales rose 20 percent last month, the company said April 7.
The hiring in China -- in departments including engineering, manufacturing and marketing sales -- adds to the more than 7,000 workers Ford plans to employ in the next two years in North America. Ford is building a new vehicle plant with its China joint venture Changan Ford Mazda Automobile Co. in Chongqing and has plans for a new engine plant in the southwestern city.