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FIRST RHD FORD PROBES ROLL OFF THE LINE

 FLAT ROCK, Mich., Dec. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- The first right-hand-drive (RHD) Ford Probes destined for the United Kingdom rolled off the line at AutoAlliance International today, with RHD Probe models destined for Japan, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand to follow in the coming months.
 "We are making automotive history today," said Wayne Booker, Ford executive vice president, International Automobile Operations and chairman of AutoAlliance International. "The Ford Probe demonstrates our commitment to offering superior products that meet customer needs worldwide."
 Probe is the first RHD North American-built vehicle sold by Ford in decades. It is also the only RHD vehicle built in the state of Michigan.
 The left-hand-drive (LHD) Probe already is exported to Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Puerto Rico, Taiwan and Japan. By year-end 1993, Ford will have exported more than 8,600 LHD Probes, about a 35 percent increase from 1992 levels.
 "The Ford Probe is our most successful export product and the best- selling North American-built vehicle in Europe this year," said Booker. "In 1994, we expect to more than double the number of Probes we exported in 1993.
 "We chose the Probe as our first RHD product for the UK and other RHD markets because it fits perfectly into the popular sport-specialty segment in those markets."
 The Probe also will be the first of several RHD Ford products to be exported to Japan -- followed by Ford Mondeo from Europe in spring 1994, and Ford Taurus and Explorer in the mid-'90s.
 In addition, Ford's key export markets include Latin America, the Gulf Cooperative Council (GCC) countries in the Middle East, Western Europe and Asia Pacific.
 AutoAlliance International is a 50/50 joint venture owned by Ford (NYSE: F) and Mazda Motor Corporation. In addition to the Probe, the plant also produces the Mazda MX-6 and 626.
 -0- 12/13/93
 /CONTACT: Lin Cummins, 313-845-0627, or Carol Goll, 313-323-0660, both of Ford/
 (F)


CO: Ford Motor Company; Mazda Motor Corporation; AutoAlliance
 International ST: Michigan IN: AUT SU: PDT


ML -- DE015 -- 3147 12/13/93 12:04 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Dec 13, 1993
Words:337
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