Recently, Ford backed off its promise to build 250,000 hybrids. But Chang'an, its Chinese partner is promising to jump into the hybrid car market by 2008.
Chang'an is going to offer its own brand of petrol-electric hybrid cars in China. As the fourth largest auto group in China, they hope to offer 10 percent of sales of their own brand as hybrids by 2010.
To pull this off, they are planning on spending $31 million on hybrid cars as part of their total $620 million to develp their own cars. The hybrids would be available in their overseas expansion, as well. By 2010, they hope that 25 to 30 percent of their own brand sales will occur overseas.
Source:People's Daily Online -- Chang'an steers into hybrid car market
The group's hybrid car push comes after a slew of foreign auto giants and other domestic producers began, or announced they would start, making petrol-electric cars in China, where oil is in short supply and fuel prices are growing rapidly.
Japan's Toyota Motor began production of its 1.5-litre Prius hybrid sedan at the end of 2005 with another Chinese auto group, First Automotive Works Corp. The move made the world's No 2 carmaker the first producing hybrid vehicles in China.
Maple, the Shanghai-based unit of China's biggest privately owned carmaker Geely Automobile, also plans to enter the hybrid car sector in 2008 with an initial output of 5,000 to 10,000 units a year.