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Ford Produces Milestone 350 Millionth Vehicle

Thai-made Focus symbolic of maker's big transformation.

by on Aug.31, 2012

Ford's 350 millionth vehicles, a red Focus sedan, rolls down the assembly line in Rayong, Thailand today.

It looked pretty much like any other Ford Focus as it rolled down the maker’s assembly line in the Bangkok suburb of Rayong early Friday morning.  But the compact sedan marked a major milestone for the automaker – as the 350 millionth vehicle has produced in its nearly 110-year history.

The event was significant for more than just the raw numbers.  The sedan symbolizes the dramatic transformation that has been shaking up Ford as it evolves from a worldwide network of regional fiefdoms into an integrated system producing global products like the Focus.

Equally noteworthy is the fact that the Rayong plant was chosen to mark the occasion.  The Asian market has become increasingly important to Ford – and its rivals.  The maker will soon operate nine plants in the region – including the newest of six in China for which Ford CEO Alan Mulally helped break ground earlier this week.

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“Producing 350 million vehicles is equivalent to producing one vehicle every 10 seconds for our 109-year history. If placed end to end, the vehicles would stretch to the moon and back – twice,” said John Fleming, Ford executive vice president of global manufacturing, in a statement.

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Ford, Mazda Invest $350M in Thai Engine Plant – As Plans Move Ahead to Close U.S. Ranger Plant

Maker says slight possibility of importing new pickup to U.S.

by on Aug.26, 2010

A new investment in the Thai Ranger replacement even as plans proceed to end U.S. production.

Ford Motor Co. says it will invest $350 million in a partnership with long-time Asian affiliate Mazda Motors to produce a new compact pickup truck – even as the maker rejects bids by Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty and other local officials to save an assembly plant producing the current Ford Ranger pickup.

Together, Ford and Mazda have invested $1.85 billion into their AutoAlliance Thailand factory, in the Bangkok suburb of Rayong, since 1995.  The additional $350 million investment will support the launch of an all-new compact truck that is set to go into production in mid-2011.

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AAT will become “a global center of excellence for the production of both brand’s compact pickup trucks,” said Mazda Executive Vice President Masaharu Yamaki.

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