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Ford to Retool F-Series Plant to Produce Fiesta Small Car for NA; $3B Investment in Mexico

1 June 2008

Ford Motor Company will produce the new Ford Fiesta small car (earlier post) for North America at the company’s transformed Cuautitlán Assembly Plant—currently producing F-Series (F-150 to F-550) pickups for the Mexican market—beginning in early 2010.

Ford also said that it will add a sporty European hatchback model to the North American Fiesta lineup alongside the popular sedan.

Transformation of the facility near Mexico City begins this year. The Chihuahua Engine Plant, which builds I-4 engines, also will assemble diesel engines for light- and medium-duty trucks in a variety of global markets. In addition, through a joint venture with Getrag (GFT), Ford will establish a new transmission plant in Guanajuato to support various Ford products. Company officials announced the trio of investments jointly with Mexico President Felipe Calderón Hinojosa.

The new multi-plant development effort represents a US$3 billion investment, including the support of local suppliers. It is Mexico’s largest ever automotive investment. The total investment is expected to increase Ford of Mexico’s annual production to nearly 500,000 vehicles and 330,000 engines by 2012, with nearly 80% of the vehicles and most of the engines slated for the North American market.

Momentum in small-car sales is outpacing overall industry growth worldwide, according to Ford. Globally, small car sales have grown from 23 million units in 2002 to an estimated 38 million in 2012. The Fiesta is the first of Ford’s new global family of small cars set to debut in Europe and Asia later this year and next year—and in North America early in 2010.

June 1, 2008 in Brief | Permalink | Comments (14) | TrackBack (0)

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Comments

Yeah, stop with the huge gas-guzzling pickups and make way to the tiny and efficient Fiesta! Even at Ford they have opened their eyes

Not exactly... They simply know that with the housing market as it is there is no further mid term need for those trucks.. the used truck market will feed what need remains for decades to come and by 2025 they will have fuel cell trucks cimmung iut if a new line likely in mexico. They might even jave a smaller plant elsewhere thats making the trucks at a much lower volume.

just glad this didn't wind up at a UAW plant. forget high gas prices, the unions are the worst thing that have happened to american auto manufacturers. they limit labor flexibility, significantly decrease productivity, and discourage workers from innovating or having a stake in the company. (and yes, i have worked with the UAW, electrical union, carpenter's union, etc. so i am not blindly speculating. unions are horrible.)
im sure this will reverberate throughout the american auto industry.
also need to applaud ford's decision to bring a b-segment car (back) to the US. it's about time.

A perfect example "Too late".
If we take too long with fuel economy mandates (that WE like), they will do it for their stockholders. What fun is that. They make all that money selling gas hogs, now they think they can cash on little cars.
Do they have to go to the expense to make us buy small cars like they made us buy big cars? Or do they just stop the “force” that made us buy big cars? I’m not sure how that works.

In the 1992 presidential election Perot said something like... 'can you hear that sucking sound'... when referring to NAFTA.

The cars are for a "Mexican market" with 80% for North America, which includes Mexico. These plants enable jobs in other areas linked back to America.

Better than Japan or a Euro company. To think if we isolate ourselves it'll be better is not the answer. Better to enter foreign markets and compete than refuse not to. At least this way, jobs will be created and money flow between America and Mexico, much more preferrable than Japan and Mexico.

Small cars traded in for big trucks. The better Mexico does in the job market, the better for our nation in the long term for cyclical buy back of other products and services from America. Softare, hardware, consultants, trainers, many Americans will benefit from these plants.

I've never worked a union. I understand it may be a preferrable way of life, but to depend upon one company for loyalty is to be naive. No one can predict pressures in a global market and we cannot isolate ourselves from change.

The Fiesta can't come to America fast enough.

On a side note, anybody see the neat irony that a car named "Fiesta" is being manufactured in Mexico? :)

Unions are good collective bargaining vehicles provided they understand that today it's far cheaper to go to a dozen places they are not. For a union contract to be competitive with low cost workforces - it needs to demonstrate the value of skilled employees. And, unfortunately without so many perqs.

It seems that VW will manufacture the new, super-economy vehicle "UP!" in Mexico´s Puebla plant.
The VW UP! will be cheaper than the Fiesta and will deliver more Km per liter of gas or diesel.
I think Ford México should consider the manufacture of
diesel engine Focus, because nowadays there are very few diesel cars in México; 2 models from VW and 2 models from Audi.

Jorge,

What are the emissions standards for new vehicles in Mexico? Last time I was in Juarez and a coworker was in Mexico City the air was such that I would hate to think any new diesels for use in Mexico were not equivalent to Euro6 or T2B5.

Diesel cars will not sell well until the world-wide shortage of diesel fuel comes to an end.

@ Patrick
Patrick, with present norms, diesel cars would not be recommendable for: Mexico City, Monterrey and Guadalajara, but I think would be O.K. for smaller cities.
http://www.puebla.gob.mx/docs/transparencia/14685.pdf
http://transparencia.guanajuato.gob.mx/portalcs/docaart10/200510191201440.NOME127ECOL1998.doc
http://www.profepa.gob.mx/NR/rdonlyres/0B3FC6A9-7964-4772-9B33-4B86ADCE4E7B/3368/NOM_044_SEMARNAT_2006_12_OCT_06.pdf
http://www.amia.com.mx/legislacion_regla11.html


For 35 years & 400,000+ miles I've had small vehicles, 35MPG, 42MPG & 45MPG cars & a 75 MPG motorcycle. My Festiva is ready for another 10+years...might even convert it to an EV. So why was America buying 15 to 20MPG vehicles? If people had bought Champs, Fiestas, Festivas, & Geo Metros, we'd be paying $2 per gallon, having fewer strokes, lung & heart diseases, & would be ready for the coming EVs. Shame on people who didn't care about the future.

As for unions, marc & michael sound like higher management types that just lost some thousands of dollars of their multi-million dollar stock options & retirement pies because company monies had to be distributed slightly more evenly to 'lower people' that actually make products. Yes, m & m are good talkers.

litesong

while i appreciate the compliment, why would i want any of my dollars (re)"distributed"? that's called communism, and you see how it worked in the ussr.
i am unashamedly capitalist, and unions are based on the proposition of equal pay for unequal work. why should i pay two workers the same amount when one produces more value than the other? i am not against higher pay for high-producing workers (in construction we called in piece rate, where you were paid by the square foot). unions encourage those who can not produce to mooch off of the productivity of those who do.

and by the way you are right about small cars. honda cr-x got 45 mpg plus or minus? my wife's fit is ~800lbs heavier and gets ~15mpg less...and that is a "sub-compact" by modern standards.

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