06/12/2003 – New Version Of America’s Best-selling Truck To Be Produced At New Dearborn Truck Plant

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Source: Ford Motor Company

New Version Of America’s Best-selling Truck To Be Produced At New Dearborn Truck Plant

  • The Dearborn Truck Plant will begin production of the new
    Ford F-150 in 2004.

  • Dearborn Truck will showcase Ford’s new,
    next-generation, flexible manufacturing system and be Ford’s most
    flexible globally – able to produce up to nine different models off
    three vehicle platforms.

  • The F-Series has been the best-selling
    full-size pickup in the United States for 26 years and the nation’s
    best-selling vehicle for 21 years running.

DEARBORN, Mich., June 12, 2003 – The star of America’s best-selling
Ford F-Series truck lineup, the new Ford F-150, soon will have a new
home at one of Ford’s most historic locations, when production of
the truck begins at the Ford Rouge Center’s new Dearborn Truck Plant
in 2004.

Ford also is showcasing its new flexible production system. “Just
as the F-Series has defined the truck market for more than 26 years,
our all-new flexible manufacturing system introduces a new era of
flexible manufacturing at Ford,” said Roman Krygier, group vice
president, Global Manufacturing and Quality.

The Dearborn Truck Plant is among the first of several Ford plants
to install a next-generation flexible assembly system, allowing it
to build up to nine different models off three platforms. It will
be Ford’s most flexible plant globally.

“Dearborn Truck will have the ability to change the mix, volume and
options of products in response to consumer demand and market
segmentation – all with minimal investment and changeover loss,”
Krygier said.

During the next decade, Ford expects to save $1.5 to 2 billion
because its flexible system will cost 10 percent to 15 percent less
than traditional systems, with an added 50 percent savings in
changeover costs.

2004 Ford F-150
Tough, capable and powerful, the F-Series
has been the best-selling full-size pickup in the United States for
26 years and the nation’s best-selling vehicle for 21 years running.

When the new 2004 F-150 hits showrooms this fall, customers will
discover a broad range of overarching product enhancements. The
truck’s strong backbone – the industry’s stiffest, fully boxed
frame — gives it great handling precision. Its wider track
provides great stability, and the all-new coil-over-shock front
suspension system provides a greater sense of control. Other
enhancements include:

  • Stronger stance and style
    The new F-150 features an all-new design, with a bold exterior
    shape that exemplifies Ford truck toughness and capability. The
    interiors boldly take the full-size pickup into a new dimension of
    comfort and refinement.

  • Power – Ford’s new 5.4-liter,
    3-valve TritonT V-8 engine produces 300 peak horsepower – a
    15-percent improvement over the previous award-winning 5.4-liter
    engine, and 365 foot-pounds of torque for improved low-speed and
    peak pulling power. Mated with the new 4R75E transmission for
    smoother shifts and improved fuel efficiency, the 5.4L 3V also
    contributes to a quieter cab environment for F-150 customers.

  • Even tougher– The fully boxed frame is approximately
    nine times stiffer torsionally than its tough predecessor,
    providing the foundation for enhancements in durability, safety,
    driving dynamics and refined, quiet ride.

  • Superior driving
    – Tremendous attention to detail has been applied to
    the chassis of the F-150 to deliver a confident, capable driving
    experience. F-150’s newly designed rear suspension, featuring
    outboard shock, is among the details that contribute to more
    confident and precise handling both in everyday driving and while
    towing a trailer.

  • Increased interior spaciousness
    Regular Cab and SuperCab models have a passenger compartment that
    is six inches longer, providing more space inside for occupants and
    their gear. For SuperCab models, that extra length means increased
    rear-seat comfort for three adults. In the Regular Cab, it means
    13 inches of secure storage space behind the seat.
  • Greater
    – Reflecting consumer demand for ease of access for both
    people and cargo, Regular Cab models feature new, class-exclusive
    access doors that open up new stowage possibilities and
    accessibility behind the seat.

  • More cargo capacity
    The new F-150’s cargo box is 2 inches deeper, providing greater
    cargo volume. Plus, a new class-exclusive Tailgate Assist feature,
    which is standard across the lineup, helps owners of all statures
    open and close the gate.

  • Enhanced safety – Inherent
    strength and toughness, plus the F-150 Personal Safety System’sT
    new occupant sensing technology for the front outboard passenger,
    makes the all-new F-150 a strong choice for safety. It has been
    engineered to exceed the rigorous new federal government safety
    standard, FMVSS 208, which governs air bag and off-set crash

Flexibility is Front and Center at Dearborn Truck
new Dearborn Truck Plant will showcase Ford’s use of a world-class
flexible manufacturing system. Ford’s flexible body shops employ
an industry-first system of 16 standardized cells, or modules, all
built from about 300 components. Only product-specific tooling
needs to be changed, or computers and robots reprogrammed, to
launch new products.

By mid-decade in North America, about half of Ford’s body shops,
trim and final assembly operations will be flexible. That number
rises to 75 percent by the end of the decade.

Ford’s Norfolk (Va.) Assembly Plant began building the new Ford
F-150 in June. The Kansas City (Mo.) Assembly Plant will begin
building the new 2004 Ford F-150 later this summer. Other plants
to install the flexible system include the Chicago (Ill.) Assembly
Plant, which will build the all-new 2005 Ford Freestyle, Ford Five
Hundred and Mercury Montego; and AutoAlliance International (Flat
Rock, Mich.), which is slated to add the new 2005 Mustang to its
production in 2004.

Ford’s new flexible system standardizes the assembly process, which
improves productivity through reduced changeover downtime.
Standardization helps improve quality through increased
repeatability. Plus, improved ease of access results in improved
safety and ergonomics for operators and maintenance crews

The Dearborn Truck Plant’s assembly system will be able to handle
three distinct platforms while producing three derivatives off each
platform. The lines can be configured to accommodate
front-wheel-drive, rear-wheel-drive, unitized-body and
body-on-frame vehicles.

The same type of standardization found in the new body shops also
is being employed in final assembly. Final assembly operations
have a standard sequence, with standardized workstations that can
be changed or modified quickly and easily to accommodate new
vehicle options or features.

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