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.