CHONGQING, China (

TheStreet

) --

Ford

(F) - Get Ford Motor Company Report

said Thursday it plans to build its first transmission plant in China to support the automaker's "aggressive growth plan in the world's largest auto market. "

The plant will have an initial investment of $350 million. It will be funded by Changan Ford Mazda Automobile, Ford's passenger vehicle joint venture in China.

Ford, in a press release Thursday, said the plant will make advanced fuel-efficient 6-speed automatic transmissions and the initial annual capacity will be up to 400,000 units. The transmissions will supply Ford brand vehicles produced and sold locally by Changan Ford Mazda Automobile.

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Ford said the plant advances its plan to introduce 15 brand new vehicles to China by 2015.

The plant is expected to start production in the fourth quarter of 2013.

-- Written by Joseph Woelfel

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