Ford Motor (F.NYSE) opened its fourth passenger-vehicle assembly plant in China on Friday, signaling hopes that rapid expansion will help the company overcome strong competition, The Wall Street Journal reported. The new factory in Chongqing cost US$490 million, and can produce 150,000 vehicles a year. The facility has the capacity to produce six models, though initial production will be the compact “Focus” model. “That capacity will be serving this market and the opportunity to grow the market share and the business here,” said Joe Hinrichs, the firm’s president for Asia-Pacific and Africa. Ford previously announced plans to introduce 15 models in the China market by 2015. Sales in 2011 grew 7% year-on-year to 519,390 vehicles, compared with Volkswagen’s (VOW.FRA) 2.26 million vehicles sold, and GM’s (GM.NYSE) 2.55 million. China’s auto market saw explosive growth in 2009 and 2010, but the removal of government incentives last year meant a mere 2.5% increase in 2011. “We think for the rest of this decade the Chinese market will grow on average about 5%,” Hinrichs said.