June 26, 2002

Production of Ford Fusion begins in Europe

Ford Fusion
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Cologne, Germany – Production of the new Ford Fusion began yesterday at Ford’s assembly plant in Cologne, Germany. The new model is due to go on sale in the Fall of 2002 in Europe, while its introduction to North America is still under consideration.

At the Fusion’s North American introduction at the Los Angeles auto show earlier this year, Ford Division president Jim O’Connor hinted that the Fusion may be coming here. “Fusion could be part of a very hot new segment,” said O’Connor. “We have a knack for knowing what customers want, sometimes even before they know it.”

Based on the recently-redesigned Ford Fiesta, Ford plans to manufacture 69,000 new Fusions this year, with regular production operating at a rate of 680 Fusions per day. The total annual vehicle production capacity of Ford’s Cologne plant, which also manufactures the new Ford Fiesta, is 405,000 units.

Ford and its suppliers have invested more than U.S.$600 million in modernizing car production in Cologne. Parts and components are delivered by the twelve suppliers located in the industrial park not simply “just in time” , but also “in sequence”. An 800-metre long conveyor delivers these to the Ford production line precisely as they are needed and in just the right order. Thanks to suppliers relocating in Ford’s Cologne Industrial Park, some 800 new jobs have been created so far.

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