RAYONG, Thailand – The construction phase of Ford Motor Company’s new USD 450 million state-of-the-art manufacturing plant in Rayong, Thailand, is nearing completion, but the Ford Thailand Manufacturing (FTM) team is already fast at work on the first model that will come off its production line.
The FTM team recently completed building the first three prototypes of the All-New Ford Focus as part of its Local Verification Build in Thailand. This initial Build started the local parts development process, which is also involving the Product Development team in Europe to test and evaluate the complete vehicles.
The three prototypes were put together at FTM’s newly launched Pilot Build Facility – a special prototype facility that was set up specifically to support the initial trial builds of the All-New Focus.
The three completed prototypes were shipped to Europe on May 27 and are currently undergoing thorough testing and evaluation.
Just prior to the Focus heading off to Ford of Europe, Gary Johnson, vice president of Manufacturing, Asia Pacific and Africa, was in Thailand to review progress on the new FTM facility and inspect the Focus prototypes.
And he certainly liked what he saw, congratulating the team for a successful build, and urging the entire FTM team to continually strive for excellence.
“FTM will achieve the highest standards in every aspect of its business and will be a benchmark facility of our APA region,” said Johnson.
Johnson visits the new FTM plant every two months to ensure that construction, facilities installation, organisational development and new model readiness are on schedule and on budget.
According to Trevor Negus, FTM plant manager, the new facility in Rayong is now 94 percent complete. FTM’s management team is busy hiring and training employees for Production and Maintenance in anticipation of the plant’s completion in 2012.
Construction of the plant began in April 2010. The Paint Shop commenced the facilities installation process in January 2011, and is on track for commissioning and the first on-line builds in the third quarter of this year.
“We have a new plant with a new workforce that is building the first Ford vehicles here at our new Thailand facility. It was terrific to see how well the cross-functional team – representing personnel from across One Ford – worked together, and how much commitment was shown to deliver the three vehicles on time to Product Development for testing in Europe,” Negus said.
“The team learned an enormous amount from the Local Verification Build and will use that knowledge to further develop our local supply base and our Manufacturing team to ensure the delivery of world class Ford vehicles,” he added.
Initial annual capacity of the highly-flexible Rayong plant is 150,000 units per year, with the first launch to be the All-New Focus. FTM will produce Ford vehicles for Thailand and export to the ASEAN and Tri-nations markets.