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FORD TECH CENTER IN JAPAN

 /ADVANCE/DEARBORN, Mich., July 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) will establish a technical center near Tokyo to strengthen company efforts to sell more U.S.-made components to the Japanese automotive industry.
 Construction for the new center, called the Ford Technology Development Laboratory, will begin in 1994, with occupancy expected by mid-1995. The facility represents an investment of approximately $50 million and eventually will employ an estimated 80 persons.
 "The center will develop advanced components for Japanese automotive manufacturers that meet their needs for high quality, competitive cost and delivery," said O.B. Marx III, Ford vice president - Automotive Components, in making the announcement. "Greatly improved component sales in Japan would help create U.S. jobs and would be trade-balance positive. This is important, given Japan's trade surplus with the U.S. of $49 billion in 1992."
 Ford parts sales to Japanese automakers currently run at more than $300 million annually, primarily to transplant operations in the U.S. Sales to Japanese automakers in their difficult-to-penetrate home market should improve, once the new technical center is operational, Mr. Marx said.
 "We believe that the way to increase our sales in Japan is to establish a strong local presence there, just as we have in other countries where we do business," Mr. Marx said. "This is essential to develop the close working relationships necessary to secure business with potential Japanese customers.
 "The facility will give us the ability to work with Japanese customers early in the new product development process, enhancing our opportunities to do business with them. The lab also will conduct advanced research and development, helping to establish Ford as a technology leader and innovator in automotive components design."
 Technical activities at the center will be directed by Dr. Ichizo Uchida, a noted Japanese scientist and former vice president at NEC. Dr. Uchida joined Ford of Japan last year as executive vice president - Electronics. George Lutz, director of Ford's Asia-Pacific Electronics Operations, will head up electronics business activities at the center.
 Areas of advanced development will include powertrain management, audio/video, interactive vehicle dynamics, safety, security, climate- control, fuel-handling, plastic and trim, and glass. The laboratory will include dynamometers, vehicle anechoic chambers, vehicle systems development laboratories, electro-magnetic compatibility chambers and durability test facilities.
 In April, Ford executives and Japanese officials broke ground for an electronics application center in Higashi-Hiroshima initially to support Mazda Motor Corporation, currently Ford's largest customer in Japan. This new facility, known as the Ford Electronics Development Center, represents a $14 million investment.
 -0- 7/8/93/1400
 /NOTE: Executive interviews are available until 1:30 p.m. today. CONTACT: John Emmert of Ford, 313-322-9211/
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CO: Ford Motor Company ST: Michigan IN: AUT SU:

ML -- DE015 -- 9513 07/08/93 12:48 EDT
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Date:Jul 8, 1993
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