China's Jiangling Motors Corp., which is 30%-owned by Ford Motor Co., will acquire Taiyuan Changan Heavy Truck Co., marking the U.S. car maker's first entry into the world's largest heavy-truck market.

China sold nearly 1 million heavy trucks last year, more than North America, Europe and South America combined, according to the Wall Street Journal.

JMC plans to invest in the segment, introducing new trucks and improving the existing lineup.

"With Ford's support, Jiangling will quickly introduce new products and improve Taiyuan's existing products in order to bolster the competitiveness of Taiyuan Heavy Truck," said Dave Schoch, chairman and CEO, Ford Motor China.

"JMC's acquisition represents a great opportunity to continue to expand the breadth of our business in China across vehicle segments," he said. "A strong heavy truck operation like Taiyuan will complement Ford's existing passenger car and light commercial vehicle operations here in the world's largest and fastest-growing vehicle market."

Ford used to make heavy trucks in North America but sold that business in 1997 to Freightliner, which operated it as Sterling for more than a decade before shuttering it in 2009.

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