North America To Become New Export Base For Ford

November 2, 2009

Ford’s new Fiesta sub-compact is about to go on sale across the country and just around the corner is a new global Focus. Both of these European designed cars will be manufactured in North America for the first time and there is much more to come, including exporting these locally built models back to Europe and other global markets.

The new move is all part of Ford CEO Alan Mulally’s “One Ford” strategy to sell the same vehicles in various global markets with only minor differentiation. America’s weak dollar has also helped accelerate plans to start production of European models in North America and then export them.

After the Fiesta and Focus, Ford will start production of the Kuga compact crossover, which is expected to go on sale in local showrooms in late 2011 and eventually spawn versions for the Mercury and Lincoln brands. For Ford, it will replace the current Escape crossover.

Other European models in the pipeline include the C-Max compact MPV, the Transit Connect small van and the Transit full-sized van--all of which could potentially be built in North America and exported overseas, and help secure more local jobs.

[Automotive News, sub req’d]

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