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TOKYO, June 8 (Reuters) - A new passenger car assembly plant planned by Ford Motor Co (NYSE:F - News) and Japanese partner Mazda Motor Corp (Tokyo:7261.T - News) in China will have an annual production capacity of 200,000 vehicles, Japanese business daily Nihon Keizai reported on Tuesday.

The plant and an engine factory capable of building 400,000 to 500,000 units a year will be built in the eastern Chinese city of Nanjing with total investment expected to be around 70 billion yen ($638 million), the paper said.
Ford and Mazda have been exploring joint business strategies in China and officials at Ford's local partner Changan Auto (Shenzhen:200625.SZ - News) have said a new production site was planned in Nanjing.

But Mazda said it was not ready to make any announcements. "As our China strategy is related to negotiations with the Chinese government and our partners, we cannot make further comment until it's fixed," it said in a statement.

Ford owns a one-third stake in Mazda.

The newspaper said production at the assembly plant would begin in 2006.

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