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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.