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FORD PALMELA PLANT WINS INVESTMENT

LISBON, Portugal, Oct. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Ford Motor Company's (NYSE: F) Automotive Components Division will invest more than $150 million at its Palmela site in Setubal for a new plant for manufacture of a new automotive air conditioning compressor. The investment will create more than 200 new jobs.

The new plant is Ford's first European production site for air conditioning compressors and will enable the company to keep pace with the rapidly rising consumer demand for air conditioning in European- built vehicles.

Construction on an 180,000-square-feet building adjacent to the existing Palmela facility will begin later this year, with compressor production scheduled to begin in 1998.

"We are pleased that Palmela was selected as the site for the new compressor facility," said Palmela plant manager Paul Taylor. "This decision reflects our employees' commitment to continuous improvement and dedication to achieving excellence."

"Both local and national Portuguese officials have been cooperative and have supported the company's investment in this venture," said Frank Macher, Ford vice president and general manager -- Automotive Components Division.

"Their cooperation, along with a favorable infrastructure and excellent workforce, were all factors in our decision to expand in Portugal."

The new compressor, called a variable scroll compressor, is designed with the specific wants of European customers in mind. It minimizes the effects of air conditioning on fuel economy. It also offers improved reliability and durability over other compressors and eliminates the clutch surge in small cars with manual transmissions.

The variable scroll compressor uses a refrigerant that does not contain chlorofluorocarbons (or CFCs), which are thought to be harmful to the earth's atmosphere. There are industry projections that air conditioning installations in Europe will rise to nearly 50 percent of total passenger car production by the year 2000, up from 19 percent in 1994.

The Palmela plant currently manufactures electronic products, including audio systems, air bag diagnostic modules, instrument clusters, multiplex wiring systems and anti-theft systems.

The Palmela plant is one of 35 Ford Automotive Components Division manufacturing plants worldwide. The plant has seen employment levels increase by 40 percent since it was opened in 1991, and today employs more than 1,600 people.

The Palmela plant is located 10 kilometers east of AutoEuropa, Ford's joint manufacturing venture with Volkswagen AG.
 -0- 10/20/95


/CONTACT: Wendi Parson, Automotive Components, 313-390-9344, or John Emmert, Global News Bureau, 313-322-3445, both of Ford/

(F)

CO: Ford Motor Company ST: Michigan IN: AUT SU:

ML -- DE001 -- 6883 10/20/95 08:28 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 20, 1995
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