The Futura is the first iteration of a vehicle platform that will form the basis for up to 10 new products and 800,000 units of volume across the Ford, Lincoln and Mercury brands in the next several years. Total program investment, including platform development, will be in the range of $1 billion USD.
Nick Scheele, president and chief operating officer of Ford Motor Company, and Marcos de Oliveira, president and chief executive officer of Ford Motor Company Mexico, together with the President of Mexico, Vicente Fox, and the Governor of the State, Eduardo Bours Castelo, told employees and suppliers about the Hermosillo project, including the expansion of the plant and the construction of an industrial park on site for as many as 19 local suppliers.
The industrial park is for tier one local suppliers who provide Ford with materials and equipment for stamping and assembly operations. In addition, a group of approximately 16 Mexican suppliers will also invest in their facilities, contributing to the economic development of the region and setting a new standard for the industry.
To prepare for the Futura, the plant will install Ford's all-new, next-generation flexible manufacturing system, allowing it to change products and options more quickly to better meet market demand.
"As one of 65 new products Ford will introduce during the next five years in North America, the Ford Futura is an important addition to Ford's remarkable range of new products," said Scheele. "The Hermosillo plant has a reputation as a high-quality, efficient facility, and with the addition of Futura, it will be a leader in flexible manufacturing and supplier innovation."
Production of the all-new Futura, which could add up to 2,000 employees at the plant, will begin in 2005. Hermosillo will have the capability to produce future Lincoln and Mercury models off the Futura platform. The Hermosillo plant will have maximum capacity of 300,000 vehicles, with production levels based on customer demand.
Flexible Production System
Hermosillo will be among many Ford plants to install a next-generation flexible manufacturing system, allowing it to build up to eight different models off two platforms. "Hermosillo will have the ability to change the mix, volume and options of products in response to consumer demand and market segmentation with minimal investment and changeover loss," said Scheele.
During the next decade, Ford expects to save up to $2 billion in North America because its flexible system will cost 10 percent to 15 percent less than traditional systems, with an added 50 percent savings in changeover costs.
The Ford Futura is aimed at the heart of the mid-size car market boasting world-class I-4 and V-6 engines, and will come with a full range of fuel-efficient, modern transmissions. Futura will feature breakthrough interior spaciousness and many other best-in-class features.
The Futura's architecture is developed from a modified Mazda6 design. Futura will be sold in Mexico, Canada and the United States.
(Oct. 6, 2003)