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Automotive Intelligence News

News of May 16, 2002


 


Ford's St. Thomas Assembly Plant Is A World Beater

Mercury Marauder

Photo: Ford

ST. THOMAS, Ont.- Ford of Canada's St. Thomas Assembly Plant produced the first 2003 Mercury Marauder this week, marking the return of an iconic "muscle car" name to the automotive landscape. Marauder becomes the eighth model built at St. Thomas Assembly, one of Ford's most enduring and successful plants.

Located between the shores of Lake Erie and London, Ont., St. Thomas Assembly has produced more than 7,000,000 vehicles since it opened 35 years ago. In that time St. Thomas Assembly has won numerous awards and continues to be the global source for Ford Crown Victoria and Mercury Grand Marquis.

"Our ability to consistently deliver quality vehicles, on time, and at a competitive cost to our customers, places St. Thomas Assembly Plant among the best facilities in Ford's global operations," said plant manager Ken Ward. "This is an achievement in which we take great pride." The first Marauder shone in a lustrous black paint, with seats clad in rich black leather and stitched with classic French seams. St. Thomas will initially build about 18,000 Marauders, most of which will be shipped to the United States where the four-door, V-8 powered, 302-horsepower sports sedan goes on sale this summer. Canadians can catch Marauder fever this fall when up to 550 models with traction control will be produced at a price expected to be below $50,000. The 2003 Marauder's credentials include:

Aluminum 4.6-litre 4-valve dual overhead cam V-8 engine producing 302 horsepower and 318 foot-pounds of torque with true dual exhaust and 3.5" Megs polished stainless steel tips; Four-speed automatic transmission with a high stall speed torque converter and 3.55 rear axle with limited-slip differential; Performance suspension, 18-inch forged aluminum alloy wheels shod with ultra-high performance all-season tires (P235/50ZR18 front and P245/55ZR18 rear); 225-kph (140-mph) speedometer, 7,000-rpm tachometer, temperature and Autometer Pro-Comp oil pressure gauges and voltmeter; Leather-trimmed cabin, floor-mounted shifter and five-passenger seating with "Marauder" embroidered in the floor mats and centre console; Monochromatic exterior design with body surfaces finished in gloss black paint, dark-tinted headlamp and tail lamp bezels, "Marauder" embossed in the rear fascia and Cibie 80 mm 55-watt high output fog lamps integrated into the front fascia.

St. Thomas Assembly is a 243,000 m2 (2.6 million ft2) plant that houses a body shop, paint facility, and 19-km long assembly line. Nearly 3,000 employees produce about 1,000 cars per day on two shifts. Last year, St. Thomas Assembly produced 202,000 vehicles, virtually an equal split of Crown Victoria and Grand Marquis models.

Ford of Canada's operations include a national headquarters, six regional offices, six vehicle assembly and engine manufacturing plants, two parts distribution centres, and affiliates including Ford Credit, Jaguar, Volvo, Land Rover and Hertz. Ford is also a joint-venture partner in two Canadian-based plants that produce aluminum engine castings. In all, these operations employ more than 16,000 men and women. In addition, over 21,000 Canadians are employed in the 515 Ford and Ford-Lincoln dealerships located in all provinces and two territories. Last year, revenues for Canadian operations were $21.6 billion. Since 1990, Ford has invested nearly $9 billion in its Canadian operations.

(May 10, 2002)

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