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FORD ANNOUNCES MAJOR PRODUCT AND PLANT INVESTMENT PLANS

 FORD ANNOUNCES MAJOR PRODUCT AND PLANT INVESTMENT PLANS
 DEARBORN, Mich., April 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Ford Motor Company


(NYSE: F) plans to invest almost $3 billion in North America over the next three years to design, engineer and build a new minivan, to develop new engines designed specifically for use in future light duty trucks and to expand an existing assembly plant for production of F-Series trucks.
 "With the future growth potential of the North American light truck market, we want to ensure that we have product and production plans in place that will allow Ford to solidify its position in the light truck market," said Alex Trotman, executive vice president, Ford North American Automotive Operations.
 Among the planned actions are:
 -- An investment of more than $900 million to re-tool
 and re-equip the Oakville Assembly Plant near
 Toronto to produce the new minivan. More than
 $400 million of that total has already been invested
 in a new paint facility there. Production of the new
 minivan would begin in late 1993.
 -- An investment of more than $650 million to expand and
 equip the Kentucky Truck Plant in Louisville for
 production of F-Series trucks. The plant also will
 continue to be the sole source of Ford's medium and
 heavy duty trucks.
 -- An investment of close to $1 billion to equip
 Windsor Engine Plant Two in Ontario for production of
 new truck engines beginning in 1995.
 The investment in the development of a new generation of truck engines will enable the company to meet the growing array of competitive engines in light duty trucks and will also provide new products to meet projected government mandates for clean air, CAFE and other regulatory requirements.
 "We're announcing these pending actions now because of the lengthy lead time required to bring these programs home and to give us the opportunity to fully discuss the implications of these programs with the United Automobile Workers (UAW) and Canadian Automobile Workers (CAW) unions," Mr. Trotman said.
 "We also will review our planned actions with government officials in the cities, states and province involved."
 The planned programs are subject to having operationally effective labor agreements at the affected locations, to favorable government rulings and support and to final internal approvals.
 In Oakville, Ford advised the CAW that one production shift at the Ontario Truck Plant, adjacent to Oakville Assembly, will be discontinued effective in November 1993. Approximately 700 employees affected by this decision will be transferred to the Oakville Assembly Plant to support production of the new minivan.
 The total additional manpower requirement at Oakville Assembly Plant to support production of the new minivan will eventually mean bringing in another 400 employees.
 This requirement will be met by offering jobs to Ford employees on indefinite layoff at Ford plants in other locations in Ontario.
 "In Louisville, employment at the Kentucky Truck Plant could increase by approximately 1,300 people when the plant reaches full planned production in 1995," Mr. Trotman said.
 Initial production of F-250, F-350 and F-Super Duty pickups and chassis cabs would begin in late 1993 provided the necessary government approvals are secured. Consolidation of this truck production at the Kentucky Truck Plant will allow maximum utilization of this plant and will improve production efficiencies throughout the company's North American light truck production system.
 In Windsor, about 850 employees will be required to produce the new family of truck engines.
 "In reaching our decision, we took into account that more than 700 highly qualified Ford employees are on layoff status in that city," Mr. Trotman said.
 "We also took into account: 1) the availability of an existing, unused facility in which an efficient and timely layout of equipment could be achieved without disrupting production and 2) the excellent quality performance recorded by the company's employees engaged in engine machining and assembly operations in the Windsor area."
 The new family of truck engines will eventually replace engines now built in Windsor and Lima, Ohio.
 "However, additional future sourcing decisions still have to be made," Mr. Trotman said. "These as well as other Ford sites could be considered when those decisions are made.
 "We also have to keep in mind that some affected employees could be placed in other jobs because of normal attrition and that others could be employed at other Ford facilities in their geographic areas," Mr. Trotman said.
 Final internal and government regulatory approvals for these planned actions are expected later this year. Full product details will not be announced until the new vehicles or engines are introduced.
 -0- 4/13/92
 /CONTACT: Bert Serre, 313-322-1185, or Tony Fredo, 416-845-2511, both of Ford/
 (F) CO: Ford Motor Company ST: Michigan SU: AUT IN:


KK -- DE007 -- 7639 04/13/92 10:11 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Apr 13, 1992
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