|Source: Ford Motor Company|
ALL-NEW FORD CROSSTRAINER WILL BE KEY TO PRODUCT-LED TRANSFORMATION
CHICAGO, Feb. 6, 2002 – The Ford CrossTrainer – designed to combine Ford’s SUV and family car leadership in a new vehicle unlike anything else on the market – will be built at the Chicago Assembly Plant beginning in 2004, the company confirmed today.
Nick Scheele, Ford Motor Company president and chief operating officer, told Chicago area employees at the Chicago Auto Show today that the new CrossTrainer – and their manufacturing facility – will be cornerstones in Ford’s product-led transformation and one of the 20 new products the company will introduce each year through 2005.
Scheele also displayed a designer’s sketch of the seven-passenger, three-row vehicle, heralding the CrossTrainer as part of Ford’s promise for more great products built with outstanding quality coming in the near future.
“The Ford CrossTrainer combines the best attributes of a sedan and sport utility providing room for up to seven passengers and their cargo,” Scheele said. “The Chicago Assembly Plant has a reputation as one of our highest quality, most efficient plants. When we introduce the new CrossTrainer, it also will become a benchmark in our new flexible manufacturing system.”
CrossTrainer will be an all-new addition to the Ford lineup. The Taurus, one of the best-selling cars in America, will remain in the lineup – and continue to be produced at Ford’s Atlanta Assembly Plant.
“Thanks to Ford Motor Company and the hard working men and women of Chicago, we have a vibrant Ford Campus that will be an anchor for further redevelopment on the south side of Chicago,” said Illinois Governor George H. Ryan. “The new Ford CrossTrainer will be a symbol of the great partnership forged between the people of Illinois and Chicago and Ford Motor Company.”
“On behalf of all the people of the city of Chicago, I want to thank Nick Scheele and the Ford Motor Company for this vote of confidence in our city and our workers,” added Mayor Richard M. Daley. “For 77 years, Ford’s Chicago Assembly Plant has been producing motor vehicles of the highest quality, thanks to its top-quality workforce and excellent management.”
The Ford CrossTrainer is designed to meet the needs of an emerging group of car customers who want the image and advantages of a sport utility, but don’t necessarily need the off-road and heavy-duty towing capabilities associated with sport utility vehicles.
CrossTrainer will efficiently carry up to seven adults and their cargo in its three-row seating configuration. It will be available in front and all-wheel drive.
“This new car is part of a new segment that is one of the major growth opportunities in the coming years,” said Scheele. “The Ford CrossTrainer is designed to provide customers with the right blend of comfort, safety, sportiness, efficiency and versatility in the right package.”
The new Ford CrossTrainer is based on an all-new, purpose-built architecture with unitized body construction.
Unibody construction eliminates the need for a separate structural frame by designing the supporting structure into the body parts, thus saving weight and adding much desired rigidity, which delivers better ride and handling qualities. Unibody construction is a key for this crossover vehicle because it allows the desired ground clearance with a lower step-in height many car customers prefer.
CrossTrainer’s engineers designed the vehicle to combine the rugged styling a sport utility with the benefits of a sporty sedan – including the lower step-in, low levels of noise, vibration and harshness, agile handling, performance feel and fuel efficiency.
The CrossTrainer will feature a V-6 engine and new continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). The CVT will provide exceptionally smooth operation and deliver up to a 10 percent fuel economy improvement over a traditional powertrain. The CVT in the CrossTrainer is the first North American application of the new, technologically advanced transmissions developed and produced under Ford’s joint venture with ZF, the world’s largest independent specialist for driveline and chassis technology.
The CrossTrainer will begin production at the Chicago Assembly Plant in 2004. When the plant is reconfigured for CrossTrainer, it will feature the first nearby automotive supplier manufacturing park in North America and a flexible body shop that allows one set of tooling to build multiple vehicle configurations. Chicago Assembly’s flexible body shop strategy will allow the plant to better match its output with customer demand.
Ford’s Chicago Assembly Plant first began producing cars in 1924. The plant covers more than 2.7 million square feet in the city of Chicago and employs nearly 2,500.