Ford and Mazda have been divorced ever since Ford cashed in its shares to finance a survival. Everywhere, except in China. In China, nothing goes without government approval, and because there was none, both Ford and Mazda had to continue their threesome with joint joint-venture partner Changan. An impending dissolution was announced several times. In August, Ford CEO Alan Mulally told reporters in Chongqing: “Ford and Mazda and their local Chinese partner Chongqing Changan have received approval from China’s central government to split their three-way, manufacturing and sales joint venture into two.” Got you! Not true. Now, it finally is.
Reuters reports that “Ford and Mazda and their local Chinese partner, Changan Automobile 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.”
They can finally implement the plan that had been hatched years ago: There will be two 50-50 joint ventures. Changan will be in one venture with Ford, and Changan will be in one venture with Mazda. (In observance of ancient Chinese traditions, a Chinese car company can have as many joint ventures as it damn pleases, a foreign one can only have two.)
There is an ominous statement that the three companies “will continue at a strategic level, in areas of benefit to all parties.”
Maybe, for old times’ sake ….