“If consumers suddenly shift their buying habits, we can seamlessly change our production mix without having to idle a plant,” said Hinrichs. “Flexible manufacturing enables us to get vehicles to consumers faster than ever before. This is a great value proposition for everyone.”
Ford currently utilizes nine global platforms around the world to build about 85 per cent of its vehicles. Global manufacturing offers Ford the opportunity to leverage commonality of components, design and build processes to streamline its ability to produce high- quality vehicles and accelerate production to meet growing consumer demand for Ford products.
“Ford’s investment demonstrates Canada can be competitive in the global market through strategic partnerships,” said Dianne Craig, president and CEO, Ford of Canada. “Working closely with government and labour, we have secured a bright future for our employees at Oakville Assembly.”
As part of the investment, Ford will also be increasing its sustainability and fuel efficiency research and development capacity in Ontario, including supporting studies in vehicle light-weighting, the reduction of stationary emissions from industrial facilities, and research into advanced engine development at Ford’s powertrain research facilities in Windsor.
With today’s announcement, Ford has now invested more than C$2 billion in Canada in less than a decade. In 2004, Ford announced a C$1 billion investment for Oakville Assembly to introduce flexible manufacturing to the facility. In 2010, the company announced a C$590 million investment for Essex Engine Plant in Windsor.
Investment in auto manufacturing directly benefits the Canadian economy. It is estimated every auto job generates up to 10 supporting jobs.
Work on the transformation at Oakville Assembly is already under way. It is expected to be completed by fall 2014.
“This is an incredible year for Oakville Assembly,” said Will Cowell, plant manager, Oakville Assembly. “We are celebrating the plant’s 60th anniversary and we passed the one-million mark in Ford Edge production. We look forward to continuing to celebrate many more milestones and to building quality vehicles with passion and excellence for years to come.”
Oakville Assembly manufactures Ford Edge
, Ford Flex
, Lincoln MKX
and Lincoln MKT