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FORD INDIANAPOLIS EMPLOYEES BEGIN BUILDING PARTS FOR EXPORT TO EUROPE

FORD INDIANAPOLIS EMPLOYEES BEGIN BUILDING PARTS FOR EXPORT TO EUROPE
 INDIANAPOLIS, Sept. 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Millions of dollars worth of steering components built at Ford Motor Company's Indianapolis Plant will soon be flowing to Europe.
 Employees at the Indianapolis Plant today began building steering columns, steering gears, steering pumps and valve assemblies for Ford cars that will be manufactured at company plants in Europe.
 Ford invested more than $150 million to renovate and retool nearly 200,000 square feet of the plant for the new business that will result in the addition of more than 300 jobs. Three areas of the plant were revamped to set up new assembly lines to produce the steering components.
 It's the first time that the 35-year-old plant, the sole supplier of steering components for all Ford vehicles in North America, is manufacturing parts for European cars.
 The new components also will be used in future Ford cars and trucks sold in North America.
 The value of the parts going to Europe is expected to reach $100 million by the end of 1993. And by 1994, it is expected that the plant will produce 450,000 steering columns, 450,000 steering gears, and 400,000 steering pumps annually for Europe.
 The steering components will be used in a new generation of mid-sized Ford vehicles developed jointly by Ford's European and North
American Automotive Operations. The vehicles will be sold in Europe and North America and exported to other markets.
 Indiana Gov. Evan Bayh and Indianapolis Mayor Stephen Goldsmith joined Alex Trotman, executive vice president - Ford North American Automotive Operations, Plant Manager Stan Knight and UAW Local 1111 President Phil Rose in launching the multi-million-dollar program.
 "This is a great day for the Indianapolis Plant because you've truly earned this new business by being customer focused," Trotman said. "In today's competitive environment, new business isn't just granted, it must be earned. You've done this by building world-class products at competitive cost levels and by demonstrating that you're prepared to grow in a competitive manner."
 The increased payroll of $20 million a year will bring the total to more than $200 million, and add between $60 and $80 million to the Indiana economy. The Indianapolis Plant's total economic effect in the state already is estimated to exceed $600 million a year.
 Ford and Indiana state officials worked closely to secure this new business for the Indianapolis Plant. The Indiana Department of Commerce granted Ford $400,000 in training funds to help train employees for the new production. And Indianapolis Mayor Goldsmith personally presented Ford's request for a five-year $20 million tax abatement to the Economic Development Council. That request was approved earlier this year.
 "At Ford, we like to say we open new plants at old addresses, and this new business Indianapolis employees are celebrating today is a very good example of what we mean by the philosophy," Trotman said.
 The Indianapolis Plant is one of the few Ford facilities that supplies the same components to all Ford assembly plants in North America. Plant employees also produce replacement parts for the Ford Parts & Service Division. More than 2,800 employees work at the 1.9 million square-foot facility.
 -0- 9/28/92
 /CONTACT: Carolyn Brown or Frank Sopata of Ford, 313-322-1300/
 (F) CO: Ford Motor Company ST: Michigan, Indiana IN: AUT SU:


SB -- DE008 -- 3915 09/28/92 11:04 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 28, 1992
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