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Ford's AutoAlliance Plant, Rayong, Thailand
with Next Car,
28th October, 2005
Ford Motor Company Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Bill Ford shared the company’s global vision on Innovation when he visited the Ford Jor Charoen Prachuabkirikhan dealership in Hua Hin, Thailand yesterday. Ford also reiterated the company’s commitment to Thailand through the introduction of innovative new products and building a Better World within the community.
“Ford Motor Company has been a global company for more than 100 years,” Mr. Ford said. “Our goal now is to create a new kind of global company for the 21st century. We are looking for innovative new ways to drive our business.”
In keeping with its commitment to innovation, Ford has introduced the latest ethanol technology to Thailand in the shape of the all new Ford Focus capable of running on ethanol blends of up to 20 percent as well as regular benzene. The Ford Focus is proudly the first E20 capable sedan to be introduced in Thailand.
The Ford Focus, newly launched in Thailand and throughout Asia, is truly a global sedan. The Focus combines the sophistication of European styling and precision German engineering to deliver class-leading superior driving dynamics.
Ford affirmed that the company is already the global leader in Flexible Fuel Vehicle technology. "In the past decade, we have put more than one million ethanol-powered vehicles on the roads worldwide."
From a global perspective, Ford presently produces about 24,000 hybrid vehicles annually. Ford is the only American vehicle manufacturer to produce hybrids and was the first in the world to offer an SUV hybrid. That vehicle was the Ford Escape Hybrid, the cleanest, most fuel-efficient SUV on the road. By 2010, Ford plans to increase hybrid production to approximately 250,000 units annually by offering hybrids across its automotive brands including Ford, Lincoln, Mercury and Mazda.
In addition, four new vehicles for 2006 will run largely on ethanol, raising the production of Flexible Fuel Vehicles in 2006 to as many as 280,000 units. For the first time next year, Ford will offer Flexible Fuel technology on America ’s best-selling vehicle – the Ford F-150.
"Our strategy for Thailand is well aligned to our global direction on alternative fuel technologies. Here in Thailand , we are confident that the Ford Focus as the first E20-capable sedan will pave the way in demonstrating Ford's leadership in alternative fuel technologies towards sustainable mobility."
“In today’s global market, we know that business as usual is no longer acceptable. We have a heritage of innovation at Ford, and it’s something that continues to be ingrained in our culture," he said. "When Ford first introduced the Ford Ranger in Thailand back in 1998, we were the first to lead in safety pickups (utes) featuring driver and passenger air-bags, ABS (anti-lock brake system) and side-impact protection. In 2002, Ford again led the industry through the introduction of the Rear Access System (RAS) which offered convenience and functionality with its innovative "open cab" design.
"As we move forward, Ford intends to maintain our tradition of leading with industry firsts that will contribute to raise Thailand's automotive standards in the areas of safety, technology and design innovations."
The Asia Pacific region is confidently setting much of the pace for economic growth, and at present rate of growth the Asia Pacific automotive market is projected to overtake those of North America and Europe before 2010. The region is expected to contribute over 70 percent of global industry growth or an incremental 10.5 million units within the next 10 years (Y2014) led by China, India and the ASEAN markets.
"When we talk about optimising our global footprint, we mean investing in areas that are growing, which clearly includes Thailand. The Asian market is critical to our plans for building a Ford Motor Company for the 21st century – and Thailand is an important element of our growth strategy for Asia. Ford is moving fast to accelerate growth throughout Asia, and we are taking an integrated approach to the region.
“Consistent with this approach, our regional headquarters are located here in Bangkok, led by Peter Daniel who is president of our Ford Asia Pacific and Africa operations. We have structured our core regional functions here to support local expertise in each market and spearhead our growth strategy,” Mr. Ford said.
Ford has invested over US$1 billion into its state-of-the-art manufacturing facility and new vehicle programmes at AutoAlliance Thailand (AAT), a joint venture between Ford and Mazda. The plant produces the Ford Ranger, Mazda Fighter and the Ford Everest for the Thai domestic market as well as exports over 100,000 pickup trucks to more than 130 countries worldwide including Europe, South America, Middle East, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and ASEAN.
With a strongly established manufacturing presence, Ford is a net exporter of vehicles in Thailand. In the first quarter this year, AAT become Thailand's Number 1 Vehicle Exporter for completely built-up (CBU) vehicles, with total exports of 19,388 units representing a 22.29 percent share of total CBU exports valued at 8.05 billion Baht.
“We want to create economic, social, and environmental value for our customers, and the communities in which we do business. This guiding philosophy permeates through every single aspect of our business and how we operate,” Mr. Ford continued.
"I am proud that we have an outstanding and growing dealer network in Thailand dedicated to delivering a best in class sales and service experience. I am proud of the work and many successes the Ford team in Thailand has accomplished.
"I am especially proud of the work that the Ford Volunteer Corp. has achieved in helping the tsunami families in Khao Lak, Southern Thailand, rebuild their lives and homes through our partnership with Habitat for Humanity. Since March this year, groups of our employees have been volunteering an entire week’s time and labour to build houses for many affected families. This spirit of contributing back to the communities where we operate is fundamental to the Ford family culture.
"The Ford team in Thailand is turning our vision for "Great Products. Strong Business. Better World" into reality everyday. I am both inspired and confident that we will continue to find innovative ways to grow our business here and to serve the community.”
Other Ford news:
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FPV Shifts into Top Gear with New BF Range
New Focus XR5 Turbo to Join Ford Line Up
Ford Equator Concept
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Global Ford Fiesta Debuts in India
FPV Sets New GT Record
"Easy Fuel" concept launched by Ford
Bill Ford Remarks On Innovation
A Joint Fiat & Ford Tiny Car
New Ford Model Pricing Released
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Ford Iosis Shows New Design Direction