April 27, 2004

Ford’s new Dearborn Truck Plant officially opens

Dearborn, Michigan – Ford Motor Company opened the doors of the new Dearborn Truck Plant on Monday, giving media a first look at the 2.3 million-square-foot facility in the Ford Rouge Center.

The new truck plant, which is producing the 2004 Ford F-150, is Ford’s flagship of 21st century manufacturing. Featuring Ford’s flexible manufacturing system, the Dearborn Truck Plant showcases state-of-the-art production in a setting that emphasizes quality, flexibility, lean processes, worker safety, comfort and environmental sustainability. It is the centerpiece of Ford’s $2 billion revitalization of the historic Rouge site, and its final assembly building is what visitors will see as part of the Ford Rouge Factory Tour, which opens May 3.

The plant has begun production of the 2004 F-150 and will ramp up to full production later this summer. At full production, it will employ over 2,000 people and produce approximately 250,000 vehicles each year.

With its flexible manufacturing system, Dearborn Truck is Ford’s most flexibly capable plant worldwide, able to produce up to nine different models off three platforms. It also is implementing world-class lean manufacturing standards that include synchronous material flow, in-line vehicle sequencing, waste reduction and team-based processes for problem solving and strict quality control.

In addition, Dearborn Truck Plant is central to numerous environmental initiatives that are both innovative and progressive. These include a smartly engineered, natural storm-water management system, which incorporates vegetated ditches, called swales; porous pavement, which allows water to trickle through tiny holes and into a storage basin; natural retention ponds, numerous plantings and the World’s Largest living Roof, as designated by Guinness World Records, atop Dearborn Truck’s final assembly building.

“What you see at the Dearborn Truck Plant and Ford Rouge Center is really the manufacturing story that will propel Ford Motor Company well into this century,” said Tim O’Brien, vice president, Corporate Relations. “We’ve incorporated our best manufacturing know-how into a world-class facility, where people and the environment are front and center. We’ve turned an aging icon into a manufacturing model that honors the past, optimizes the present and creates a positive imprint for the future.

The Dearborn Truck Plant is Ford’s first new U.S. assembly plant since 1987, when it partnered with Mazda to open AutoAlliance International Inc. in Flat Rock, Michigan.

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