May 27, 1999 – Kansas City Plant to build new Lincoln Blackwood

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Kansas City Plant to build new Lincoln Blackwood

  • Blackwood to join other new KC vehicles –
    a new smaller SUV, and the F-Series SuperCrew.

  • Blackwood is called, "the ultimate utility
    vehicle," offering luxury, convenience and versatility.

  • Production of Blackwood begins in late 2000.

CLAYCOMO, Mo., May 26, 1999 — Ford Motor Company’s
Kansas City Assembly Plant has been selected as the manufacturing
site for the new Lincoln Blackwood luxury sport utility vehicle,
slated for production late next year.

The announcement was made prior to the opening of
a plant supplier conference at the Westin Crown Center Hotel by
David Thursfield, vice president, Ford Vehicle Operations and
Missouri Governor Mel Carnahan.

"Kansas City is the logical place to build the
new Lincoln Blackwood, because of our recent retooling for four-door
pickup truck production, its outstanding workforce, and its dedication
to quality," said Thursfield. "Adding another vehicle
to Kansas City demonstrates Ford manufacturing flexibility – the
ability to build several vehicles on one assembly line. We are
confident that Kansas City Assembly will meet the high standard
of excellence of Lincoln, and Lincoln customers."

The Lincoln Blackwood concept vehicle was introduced
in December at the Los Angeles Auto Show, with St. Louis Cardinal
slugger Mark McGwire behind the wheel. In January, because of
strong public reaction in favor of the vehicle, Ford decided to
put Blackwood into production.

Lincoln Blackwood is the ultimate utility vehicle,
with all the comfort of a luxury sedan and the convenience and
versatility of a sport utility vehicle. The four-door, four-
passenger luxury utility is an extension of the extremely successful
Lincoln Navigator, with one important difference: an enclosed
4-ft., 8-in. box that serves as a trunk. The Blackwood, like
all Ford SUVs and pickups, will be a low-emission vehicle (LEV),
with most Ford truck lines cleaner than most cars on the road

"The Missouri workforce is the highest skilled
and best in the world," said Governor Carnahan. "We
are again pleased that Ford Motor Company has decided that the
Kansas City Assembly Plant is the place to build another exciting
new vehicle."

In December of this year, Kansas City Assembly will
begin production of the new four-door F-150 SuperCrew – the first
under 8,500-pound gross vehicle weight (GVW) truck to offer four
full-size doors and a full rear-passenger compartment. Production
of the Lincoln Blackwood – also with four full-size doors — will
begin approximately one year later.

Lincoln Blackwoods will come off the assembly line
and be driven to a special area of the plant, where components
such as the box, side cladding, consoles, cell phones and navigation
systems will be installed. This same area will be used to perform
a special Blackwood quality inspection. Inspectors will scrutinize
each vehicle for fit and finish, wind noise and component functionality.
Every Lincoln Blackwood will be road tested.

Additionally, Kansas City Assembly will begin production
of an all-new sport utility vehicle in mid-year 2000. It will
be smaller than the best-selling Ford Explorer, and will be built
on an entirely new platform, with fuel economy comparable to many
family sedans.

The Kansas City Assembly Plant opened in 1951, covers
4.5 million square feet and has 5,200 employees. Today it builds
the Ford Contour and Mercury Mystique sedans, as well as F-Series
trucks. During 1998, Kansas City produced 404,083 cars and trucks
– more than any Ford assembly plant in the world. On an average
day, 1,920 cars and trucks roll off the Kansas City Plant’s two
assembly lines.

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