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May 6, 2009

Ford to Build New Global Small Cars, Electric Vehicle at Michigan Plant

Ford invests $550 million to transform Michigan Assembly Plant from a large SUV factory into a modern, flexible small car plant.

Production for the North American market of the new global Ford Focus begins next year followed by production in 2011 of a battery-electric Focus, helping Ford meet its promise of delivering four new electric vehicles in the U.S. by 2012.



Photo: The Michigan Assembly Plant is becoming Ford's first site for building both the next-generation Focus and a BEV companion vehicle.

Ford Focus

Photo: 2008 Ford Focus RS

Ford Motor Company said today it is investing $550 million to transform its Michigan Assembly Plant into a "lean, green and flexible manufacturing complex that will build Ford's next-generation Focus global small car along with a new battery-electric version of the Focus for the North American market."

The plant, formerly the production site for Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigators SUVs, is one of three North American light truck plants Ford is retooling to build fuel-efficient global small cars in the coming years. The new Focus will begin rolling off the line next year and the battery-electric version of the Focus - Ford's first all-electric passenger car - debuts in 2011.

As part of the retooling, Ford will consolidate its operations from Wayne Assembly Plant. When production launches in 2010, approximately 3,200 employees will be building the new Focus at Michigan Assembly Plant. At the plant, Ford and United Auto Workers are developing modern new operating practices to ensure "high quality and even greater efficiency."

Ford Focus


Photo: 2008 Focus RS World Rally Car

Ford Focus


Photo: 2008 Ford Focus Germany

"The transformation of Michigan Assembly Plant embodies the larger transformation under way at Ford," said Ford President and CEO Alan Mulally. "This is about investing in modern, efficient and flexible American manufacturing. It is about fuel economy and the electrification of vehicles. It is about leveraging our expertise and vehicle platforms around the world and partnering with the UAW to deliver best-in-class global small cars. It is about skilled and motivated teams working together in new ways to create the future of automobile manufacturing in the United States."

The reinvention of Michigan Assembly, once one of the world's most profitable auto plants during the SUV boom of the late 1990s, is rooted in the fundamental strategic shift by Ford to leverage its global assets to bring six world-class small cars to the American market by the end of 2012. To produce the vehicles, Ford is converting three truck and SUV plants to car plants - Michigan Assembly, Cuautitlan Assembly in Mexico, which begins building the new Fiesta subcompact early next year; and Louisville (Ky.) Assembly, which will be converted to produce small vehicles from Ford's global Focus platform beginning in 2011.

Ford Motor Company


Photo: Ford Focus In Winter Europe

Ford Focus ST


Photo: 2008 Ford Focus ST Germany

The new Focus is being developed in Europe. Over time, the new platform will be the basis for more than 2 million units annually around the world, including Focus and other derivatives, allowing Ford to leverage economies of scale to improve investment efficiency.

The zero-emission Focus battery-electric vehicle, which is being developed in partnership with Magna International, features a high-voltage electric motor powered by a high capacity Lithium Ion battery pack and charged by plugging in to a 110-volt or 220-volt outlet. The vehicle is one part of a larger strategy Ford announced in January to develop electric vehicles for North America quickly and affordably by leveraging its global platform capability.

According to Ford, the state of Michigan and local governments provided tax incentives and grants that enabled the investment in Michigan Assembly, which will be designated as the state's first automotive technology anchor site.

Source: Ford Motor Company


Our Opinion

"The Small Car Mantra. Ford's Got It!"

© GlobalGiants.Com

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December 2, 2008: Ford Motor Company Will Re-Evaluate Its Strategic Options for Volvo Car Corporation

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Edited & Posted by the Editor | 2:15 PM | Link to this Post

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