October 29, 2004

Ford invests $1 billion in Oakville assembly plant

Oakville, Ontario – Ford Motor Company today announced plans to invest $1 billion (CDN) at its operations in Oakville, making it Ford’s first flexible assembly plant in Canada capable of producing more vehicles, more quickly and more efficiently. The facility will also be home to a new research and development centre focusing on fuel cell technology.

“Ford Motor Company is committed to delivering great products, building a strong business and helping to create a better world. The new Oakville Assembly Complex achieves on all three of these critical goals as one of the most advanced automotive manufacturing facilities in North America,” said Anne Stevens, group vice president, Canada, Mexico and South America, Ford Motor Company.

The investment was made with the financial assistance of the federal and provincial governments. The federal government will contribute $100 million, while the Ontario government will match that with $100 million through its Ontario Automotive Investment Strategy.

Work on the new Oakville Assembly Complex (OAC) is expected to begin next month and consists of a major renovation and retooling of the current operations. With its new flexible manufacturing system, OAC will be capable of producing four different vehicles based on two unique product platforms.

Production at OAC is scheduled to begin in 2006. Product details will be announced at a later date.

The R&D centre at the new complex will be the first of its kind in Canada. For one of its initial projects, Ford engineers and researchers, in partnership with Canadian research institutions, will focus on developing a large-scale stationary fuel cell system that will convert paint shop emissions into a hydrogen-rich fuel to generate electricity. This Fumes-to-Fuel system will significantly reduce emissions while generating new electricity at OAC.

Ford is exploring the strong potential of a hydrogen-powered future by developing hydrogen-based technologies not only for its new vehicles, but also for its manufacturing facilities. The Fumes-to-Fuel project at OAC is an innovative example of stationary fuel cell technology and represents one more step toward a cleaner future, driven by cleaner fuels. Hydrogen produces nearly zero emissions, delivers higher fuel economy, and can be used either in fuel cells or internal combustion engines.

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