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January 23, 2009

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Ford Fiesta Marks Latest Global Milestone With Start Of Production At State-Of-The-Art Facility In China

  • Production of the all-new Ford Fiesta begins in Nanjing, China, the world’s first facility to produce the 4-door sedan as well as the five-door hatchback

  • The Fiesta, already on sale in Europe, is the first in a series of small, fuel-efficient cars developed from Ford’s new global car platforms.

  • The Fiesta will go on sale in North America in early 2010 and will be produced at Ford’s Cuautitlan Assembly Plant in Mexico

  • This year, 100 U.S. Fiesta customers will be able to drive Ford’s newest global vehicle before it arrives in 2010 as part of the “Fiesta Movement” program

NANJING, China – The new Ford Fiesta – the first in a series of global cars coming from Ford – took another major step forward Thursday with the start of production at the state-of-the-art Changan Ford Mazda Automobile Company manufacturing facility in Nanjing, China.

The Nanjing plant began producing the five-door hatchback and four-door sedan versions of the new global Fiesta for the Chinese market and the vehicles will go on sale later in the first quarter. The new global Fiesta debuted last year in Europe to critical acclaim and is off to a strong sales start. In just more than two months on the market, Ford has sold more than 61,000 Fiestas in the traditional 19 European markets, making it Ford of Europe’s second-best selling model behind the Focus.

The Fiesta rollout continues this year in China, and will reach the United States and other key world markets in early 2010.

“It’s thrilling to see our One Ford vision coming to life with the new Fiesta, which is already a hit in Europe and now rolling off the lines in China,” said Joe Hinrichs, Ford’s group vice president for Global Manufacturing and Labor Affairs. “We are leveraging our global assets and expertise to design and build vehicles that meet the demands and expectations of customers around the world.”

Designed and developed in Europe for sale across Ford’s global markets, the new Fiesta is the first in a series of fuel efficient new small cars developed through Ford’s global product development process. Its stylish and dynamic flair combines with all the traditional Ford small car strengths to create a confident, contemporary introduction to the next chapter of the Fiesta story.

Within five years, Ford expects to build about 1 million vehicles worldwide off of the new global B-car platform, the basis for the new Fiesta.

The Nanjing plant becomes the first facility to build the four-door sedan version of the Fiesta and is the second Ford assembly facility in the world to build the new global car. Production began at Ford’s Cologne Assembly Plant in Germany last year and will begin later this month at Ford’s plant Valencia, Spain. North American production will begin in early 2010.

The Nanjing plant becomes the first facility to build the four-door sedan version of the Fiesta and is the second Ford assembly facility in the world to build the new global car. The Nanjing plant utilizes world-class manufacturing processes and highly automated facilities to deliver top quality. The plant is equipped with the most advanced and effective automatic horizontal-bar conveyor system and has more than 150 automated robots throughout the facility.

The plant also is launching an innovative, eco-friendly paint technology, utilizing a three-wet medium solids-based paint formulation. It produces fewer volatile organic compounds and carbon dioxide emissions than water-borne paints.

“The production of the new Ford Fiesta signals the continuation of Ford Motor Company’s ability to provide Chinese customers with world-class products from a world-class manufacturing facility,” said Robert Graziano, president and CEO, Ford Motor China. “The addition of the Fiesta is another exciting product in the Ford lineup targeted at the Chinese consumers.”

Ford’s plant in Cuautitlan, Mexico, will build the new Fiesta for the United States and other North American markets. Construction of the integrated stamping facility and retooling of the assembly plant is underway.

In North America, the new small car will be offered in two models: a sporty hatchback and a sedan, beginning in early in 2010.

In advance of the Fiesta’s launch in the U.S., thousands of consumers across the country will have an opportunity to drive the Ford Fiesta. In a program called “Fiesta Movement,” Ford will select up to 100 enthusiasts to drive the Fiesta and relate their experiences through social media sites, such as Facebook, providing Ford with early consumer feedback.

In Europe, the Fiesta is produced at Ford’s plant in Cologne, Germany, for European markets. Fiestas built in Cologne are on sale now in South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. Production also begins this month at Ford’s assembly plant in Valencia, Spain, for European markets.

In Asia, the Nanjing plant will produce the Fiesta for the Chinese market. In 2010, Ford and Mazda’s joint-venture facility, Auto Alliance Thailand, in Rayong will begin producing the new Fiesta for other major Asian markets.

Photos: Ford

(Jan 21, 2009)

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