Ford opens green assembly plant in Michigan

Ford Motor has started production of its new Ford Focus in its completely transformed Michigan Assembly Plant (MAP) in the US.

Following a $550m transformation, the plant features an environmentally friendly workplace with flexible manufacturing capability and a specially trained work force ready to deliver a fuel efficient new car to the marketplace.

Ford president of Americas Mark Fields said MAP epitomizes the best of what the company stands for – fuel efficiency, quality, smart technology.

“Focus delivers even more of what customers truly want and value – and this new car could not arrive in the market at a better time,” Fields said.

The company claims that the new Focus sets a new standard in the small car segment in North America, offering more technology and features than more expensive European cars, such as SYNC with Traffic, Directions and Information, MyFord Touch, active park assist and Wi-Fi access, while delivering up to an unsurpassed 40 mpg with an automatic transmission.

The focus electric zero-emission battery electric vehicle is scheduled to go into production late in 2011 at the plant, followed by production of the new C-MAX Hybrid and C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid in 2012.

In its flexible body shop, at least 80% of MAP’s robotic equipment can be programmed to weld various-sized vehicles and MAP’s integrated stamping facility allows the stamping and welding of all large sheet-metal parts on-site, ensuring maximum quality and minimum overhead.

MAP also boasts solar power generation systems in the state as well as several electric vehicle charging stations, allowing the plant to operate on a blend of renewable and conventional electricity.

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