The all-new Ford Fiesta: production begins of a small vehicle going global
Volume production of the new Ford Fiesta, the first of a generation of new global small Ford cars, started at the company's Cologne plant in Germany today.
This all-new model of the Ford Fiesta has been conceived and developed by the European arm of Ford's global product development team to meet the demands and expectations of customers around the world.
It is also the blueprint for future Ford global product development, bringing together Europe, the Americas and Asia. The new Fiesta will be tailored for each region and go on sale progressively between now and 2010, starting now with Europe.
The Cologne plant has the honour of being the first Ford assembly facility in the world to build the new car. In January 2009, the Valencia plant in Spain will also begin to manufacture the new Fiesta. The production facilities for new Fiesta outside of Europe will be Nanjing in China, Rayong in Thailand and Cuautitlàn in Mexico. They will begin to produce the car for their respective regions from late 2008 through early 2010.
In a video message to Ford of Europe employees at today's ceremony in Cologne, Ford Motor Company President and CEO, Alan Mulally, said: "Today we are celebrating the start of a new era for our fabulous Ford Motor Company. The first product of our Global Product Development System, the all-new Fiesta is an outstanding symbol for our One Ford vision of a single, global company designing and building cars for customers around the world. Be proud of what you have achieved and be proud of your contribution to a model that will get the world talking."
A total of 455 million Euros was invested in the restructuring and modernisation of the Cologne plant for the new Fiesta.
The all-new Fiesta is manufactured with sophisticated techniques more commonly found in the production of large cars: Ford production experts introduced these features at the highly efficient Cologne Assembly Plant, without interfering with existing Fiesta production. The all-new Fiesta production team went into the plant on weekends to install and verify new systems on the existing line. Some of the 50,000 hours of operator training was done off-line on static cars, while some training was dynamic (on-line). In one example of the training undertaken over a six week period, the production team built the same car on the line every day, then stripped it down and built it again.
In 2008, Ford plans to manufacture 148,000 new Fiestas in Cologne. When operating at full capacity, a total of more than 1,900 cars every day - new Fiestas together with the Ford Fusion - will be manufactured in Cologne over three shifts.
"The Ford Fiesta is very special to us in Ford of Europe and to our customers," said John Fleming, President and CEO, Ford of Europe. "Over the past 32 years it has consistently been at the top of the list of Europe's best-selling cars.
"Its dynamic, bold design and high manufacturing quality will attract a new generation of Fiesta owners and appeal to existing customers. I am confident that the all-new Fiesta will build on the success of its predecessor," he added.
Since the very first Fiesta was launched in 1976, over 12 million have been sold, with over 400,000 customers in 2007 proving the enduring popularity of the model.
The new Fiesta's dramatic exterior design and exciting interior styling are instantly recognisable, accentuated by the bold use of colours and the use of high quality materials throughout. The new vehicle extends the core Fiesta values of style, efficiency and driving quality.
External industry organisations regard the Fiesta plant in Cologne as the most efficient vehicle assembly plant in Europe. A total of 410,900 Fiestas and Fusions was manufactured in Cologne in 2007. Approximately 85 per cent of the vehicles produced in Cologne last year were exported to more than fifty countries. The Cologne assembly plant employs directly some 4,000 people.
Earlier this year, Ford began sourcing renewable electricity to cover the full electric power demand of its Fiesta manufacturing and engineering facilities in Cologne. Through this initiative, the company will reduce its CO2 emissions by 190.000 tonnes per year. This initiative is part of the company's overall commitment to further reduce the environmental footprint of its vehicles through their entire life cycle.
"We're very proud of the Cologne Assembly Plant and the vehicles produced here. Not only does the new Fiesta bring innovative design and engineering to the small car market, but it brings new manufacturing technologies as well", said Jim Tetreault, Vice-President Manufacturing, Ford of Europe.
"This new Fiesta is tough, strong, and safe due to the body construction technologies which allow us to build a lightweight, yet extremely strong body through the innovated use of high strength steel. It is also built with care, craftsmanship and precision by an efficient and dedicated workforce, which is second to none", he added.