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Ford to invest $450M in new Thailand plant for Focus

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Ford to invest $450M in new Thailand plant for Focus

Alisa Priddle / The Detroit News

Ford Motor Co. announced Thursday morning in Thailand that it is investing $450 million in a new plant there to make the Ford Focus, starting in 2012.

The Rayong plant will make the next generation of the Focus that will be sold worldwide. The 8 million-square-foot facility will have the capacity to build 150,000 cars a year initially to supply markets in Asia-Pacific, with 85 percent of production for export within the region.

The North American version of the Focus goes into production early next year at Ford's Wayne assembly plant. The Focus is part of a family of compact cars that the company expects will eventually total 2 million units a year worldwide.

"Today's announcement is another important step in our aggressive expansion in the Asia Pacific region to meet demand for our world-class Ford products in this fast-growing region," Ford Chief Executive Alan Mulally said.

The plant is expected to generate 2,200 Ford jobs and another 8,800 indirect jobs when it reaches full capacity. The plant is being designed with the flexibility and necessary automation to build a diverse range of vehicles.

Ford also said it plans to purchase up to $800 million worth of local parts through Thailand's supplier network.

Most major automakers have plants in Thailand, which has become one of the largest producers of compact pickups in the world. A sign in an industrial area proclaims it to be the "Detroit of Asia."

"This investment underscores our long-term commitment to Thailand and its role as a global production and export hub for Ford," said Joe Hinrichs, president of Ford Asia Pacific and Africa. "The decision to build our new plant was supported by Thailand's world-class automotive industry, and logistics and export infrastructure."

The plant also will be as eco-friendly as possible, with recycled materials, natural daylight and ventilation and adoption of Ford's paint technology that reduces compounds and emissions, said Sue Cischke, who heads sustainability, environment and safety engineering for Ford.

From The Detroit News: http://detnews.com/article/20100624/AUTO01/6240354/1148/auto01/Ford-to-invest-$450M-in-new-Thailand-plant-for-Focus#ixzz0rmADNPVD

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By Mark Kleis

Ford has announced the construction of what it is calling a “state-of-the-art” manufacturing plant in Thailand, which is scheduled for completion in 2012.

The global automaker says that this plant will play a key role in supporting Ford’s aggressive plans to expand in the Asia Pacific and African regions, starting with the production of the next-generation Ford Focus. In addition to producing the Focus, the plant will also likely produce the several other models planned to be underpinned by the C-segment platform set to underpin the next Ford Focus.

The manufacturing facility will house 750,000 square meters of assembly, paint, trim and final assembly areas. Ford says that its Thailand plant will also follow its global goals for sustainability initiatives and environmentally-responsible processes and systems.

Ford says the plant will start with an initial capacity of 150,000 units per year, with as much as 85 percent of the production set for export to other Asia Pacific and African markets. The plant will also provide for as many as 11,000 new jobs in the area, with up to 2,200 indirect jobs with Ford.



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