The Nation



Ford opens huge manufacturing plant

Ford Motor Company officially opened its new US$450-million (Bt13.94 billion) passenger vehicle manufacturing plant Ford Manufacturing Thailand in the Eastern Seaboard Industrial Estate (Rayong), with a number of dignitaries and guests in attendance.

Joining FTM employees at the celebration (from left to right) are Saroj Kiatfuengfoo, vice president, marketing, sales and service, Ford Thailand; US Ambassador to Thailand Kristie Kenney; Ford Asean president Peter Fleet; Ford Asia-Pacific and Africa president Joe Heinrichs; Industry Minister Pongsvas Svasti; and Ford Thailand manufacturing director Trevor Negus.

The plant has an initial production capacity of 150,000 vehicles - increasing the company's annual capacity in Thailand to 445,000 - making Ford one of the largest producers and exporters of vehicles in the country.

Ford has been Thailand's largest automotive investor since 2007, having invested more than $1.5 billion to continually expand its local operations. Overall, the American auto-maker is the second largest automotive investor in the country, with cumulative investments totalling more than $2.5 billion.

Production will start next month with the all-new global Ford Focus, which is already being built in five other Ford facilities around the world.

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