Ford invests $82 million to expand Vietnamese plant

HANOI (Reuters) – Ford Motor <F.N> said Tuesday it is investing $82 million expand its plant in northern Vietnam boost production capacity.

Ford Vietnam, established in 1995, said the expanded factory would boost the U.. automaker’ annual capacity in Vietnam to 40,000 vehicles from current volume of 14,000 units per year.

The company reported it sold 32,175 cars in 2019, up 31% from a year earlier.

The additional investment, which will bring the company’s total investments in Vietnam to more than $200 million, will come in two stages over a two-year period starting this year.

Deputy Trade Minister Do Than Hai said he expected the expansion would reduce Vietnam’s reliance on imported vehicles and therefore lower the country’s trade deficit.

The construction will expand the facility across an additional 60,000 square meters of land, bringing the total area to 226,000 square meters.

(This story corrects the location of the factory in northern Vietnam not eastern)

(Reporting by Phuong Nguyen, editing by Louise Heavens)