Ford to retool U.S. truck plants to build Euro models

Ford to retool U.S. truck plants to build Euro models

Ford to retool U.S. truck plants to build Euro models

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Last month we reported that Ford would bring its European Kuga crossover and C-Max MPV to North America after the launch of the new Fiesta and next-generation Focus, and now latest reports claim Ford is set to retool its U.S. truck plans to build smaller passenger vehicles, including several European models. Ford is yet to confirm the details but said plant managers and local union leaders from across the U.S. will meet in Detroit this week and are expected to make an announcement next month.

The information was revealed by an inside source, who told The Detroit News that Ford was planning to revamp some of its truck plants to produce vehicles currently built in Europe.

Ford CEO Alan Mulally has also hinted at the possibility, telling reporters earlier that Europe is the best place to look as Ford’s U.S. division restructures its portfolio and operations. He also acknowledged that it would be too costly to import cars from across the Atlantic because of unfavorable exchange rates. "We can tailor the production to where we sell them," he told reporters.

Mulally also confirmed that the Fusion sedan and European Mondeo would be replaced by a single model for the next-generation, while other sources have revealed that the next Focus, due in 2010/11, could arrive in the U.S. in several variations including hatchback, sedan and cabrio models.

There’s another key reason to bring Ford’s Euro models to North America than just satisfying demand. A more fuel-efficient lineup will also help the carmaker meet tough new CAFE regulations rolling in over the next decade.
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