December 12, 2007

Ford opens New Model Quality Center for F-150 truck plant

Dearborn, Michigan – Ford has announced the opening of its new New-Model Quality Center at its historic Rouge plant in Michigan to support the introduction and ensure top quality of the new 2009 F-150 pickup truck that will be launched next year. The centre will help Ford prove out manufacturing, test vehicles and train employees for the next-generation F-150.

“Our recent launches have shown that we are among the best in the industry in quality,” said Mark Fields, President of the Americas. “The New-Model Quality Center at the Rouge will ensure the same top quality for the new F-150 when it goes on sale next fall.”

According to a Global Quality Research System study, Ford’s U.S. quality improved by 11 per cent in 2007, versus two per cent for the industry overall. It also won 14 vehicle honours, more than any other automaker, in J.D. Power and Associates’ 2007 Initial Quality Study.

The 2009 F-150’s design includes an evaluation of 18,000 truck design elements at Ford’s Digital Pre-Assembly laboratory; at the company’s Virtual Build Center, a launch team of engineers, plant employees and suppliers are “building” the new pickup on virtual assembly lines that replicate the Dearborn Truck and Kansas City assembly plants, where the new truck will be produced.

The New-Model Quality Center was funded in part by a US$208 million investment Ford made in the Dearborn Truck Plant to support the launch of the new F-150. The company has a similar quality centre at each assembly plant in North America.

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