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Ford Seeks New China Joint Venture


NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- China joint-venture partners Ford (F), Mazda Motor and Chongqing Changan Automobile are seeking permission from the Chinese government to opt out of their three-way partnership -- generally considered to be more complicated -- according to a report.

Ford and Masda want to continue their partnership with Changan, but on their own. This approach would allow both companies more freedom to approach their China strategies the way they want, according to sources cited by Reuters.

Upon receivingthe official green light to do this, Ford and Mazda would each be forming a 50-50 joint venture with Changan, the report says. Ford's new JV with Changan would be based out of Chongqing, China, while Mazda's new JV would be based out of Nanjing, China.

Ford currently has about a 35% ownership in the JV, Changan owns 50% of it, and Mazda owns a mere 15% of it.

The biggest beneficiary of the new joint-venture arrangement would be Mazda, given that it would become an equal partner in a new tie-up, Reuters reports, citing an analyst.

The build-up of global automaker interest in China continues to grow; the country surpassed the U.S. as the largest automaker last year.

Ford stock has fallen 2.6% to $12.10 some 90 minutes into Friday's regular trading session.

-- Reported by Andrea Tse in New York

Follow Andrea Tse on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.

Copyright 2010 TheStreet.com Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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