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Ford Starts Production of 2012 Focus at Michigan Plant

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On: Thu, Aug 5, 2010 at 12:18PM | By: Sherry Christiansen


Ford Starts Production of 2012 Focus at Michigan Plant

Ford has started the production of the 2012 Focus at the Michigan Assembly Plant, located in Wayne, Michigan. Early production of the Ford Focus will involve pre-production vehicles, built to allow Ford to test the final design and perfect the assembly process. The plant will start formal production later in the year.

The Michigan Assembly Plant was originally built to produce the F-150, Expedition, and Navigator. It has been completely redesigned in order to switch gears and produce smaller cars, such as the Ford Focus. Ford tooled the plant so that several variations of the new Focus could be produced there; one such model is the electric-powered version which will be launched in 2012.

The equipment within the plant is flexible enough to be able to switch production without retooling, which is normally very time consuming and expensive, but necessary when changes to the production model are made. For example: if the market suddenly changes and more electric models are being sold, Ford will be able to swiftly modify the productivity without as much overhead cost and produce those models that the market currently demands.

Early production of the Ford Focus at the Michigan plant will involve pre-production vehicles that are built in order for Ford to test the final design and perfect the assembly process. The plant will start formal production later in the year.Ford Starts Production of Focus at New Plant
Early production of the Ford Focus at the Michigan plant will involve pre-production vehicles that are built in order for Ford to test the final design and perfect the assembly process. The plant will start formal production later in the year.

"If the last few years have taught us anything, it is that customer's wants and needs can change quickly—much more quickly than we have been equipped to respond to efficiently in the past," Jim Tetreault, vice president of Ford's North American manufacturing, said. "At Michigan Assembly, we will achieve a level of flexibility we don't have in any other plant around the world, which will allow us to meet shifting consumer preferences in real time."

Ford plans to move assemble of some of the components for the Focus to the Michigan plant as well, such as instrument panels, moonroofs, doors, engines, and interior trim which are typically parts that other companies supply to Ford. Now those parts will be simultaneously produced in-house along with the Focus itself.
Ford is still contemplating which prototypes of the Focus will make it to mass production. At the Geneva Motor Show this year the Focus station wagon was featured, which is one possibility. The Focus hatchback, Grand C-Max minivan, or a mini model are other options. Depending on what the demand is for the 2012 Focus, Ford will be prepared to build them all at the Michigan Assembly Plant.

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