Ford GT Le Mans

Κατά τη διάρκεια της συνέντευξης τύπου του WEC, ο πρόεδρος της FIA Endurance Commission, Lindsay Owen Jones, επιβεβαίωσε ότι η Ford θα επιτρέψει στο Le Mans λέγοντας:

Η Ford έχει ήδη ανακοινώσει την επιστροφή της στο Le Mans, αλλά για την ώρα δεν έχει προβεί σε επίσημη ανακοίνωση.

Ωστόσο η Ford έχει αφήσει ήδη να διαρρεύσουν σκίτσα του αγωνιστικού της, που βασίζεται πάνω στο νέο GT, με τον RC82 Workchop να ετοιμάζει αυτές τις δύο renderings φωτογραφίες του. Το αν θα μπει στην LMP1 ή την LMP2 κατηγορία κανείς δεν το ξέρει.

Ford GT Le Mans LMP Concept Gulf Edit.

Στις σχετικές ειδήσεις, η Ford ανακοίνωσε πως τα Galaxy και Mondeo Vignale θα ξεκινήσουν να κατασκευάζονται στο εργοστάσιό της στη Βαλένθια αργότερα μέσα στο έτος, εκεί όπου θα επενδύσει 2,6 δισ. ευρώ, ενώ προχωρά στην πρόσληψη 1.550 υπαλλήλων, λόγω της αύξησης της ζήτησης του νέου F-150.

Δελτίο Τύπου

FORD INVESTS $2.6 BILLION IN VALENCIA OPERATIONS IN SPAIN; HIGHLY-FLEXIBLE PLANT TO INCREASE PRODUCTION 40% IN 2015

  • Ford Motor Company invests $2.6 billion since 2011 in Valencia, Spain, manufacturing operation; largest ever investment in Spain’s auto industry
  • Vehicle production in Valencia will increase 40 per cent to around 400,000 units in 2015; new high-tech bodyshop raises daily production capacity to 2,000 vehicles
  • With six nameplates in 2015, even more bodystyles, and the capacity to manufacture up to 450,000 vehicles a year, Valencia is one of Ford’s largest and most flexible plants worldwide
  • Ford Valencia operations now employ 8,000 people, up from just below 5,000 in early 2013; supplier operations supporting Valencia production have increased employment by 1,500 jobs since 2013
  • Valencia plant currently builds Mondeo wagon, five-door, and four-door including Mondeo Hybrid, Kuga SUV, Transit Connect light commercial vehicle and Tourneo Connect people-mover; all-new S-MAX multi-activity vehicle, Galaxy seven-seat people-mover and Vignale Mondeo go into production later this year
  • Valencia is one of Spain’s top automotive exporters, with 80 per cent of its production to 75 countries worldwide, including North America

VALENCIA, Spain, Feb. 5, 2015 – Ford Motor Company today announced it is completing the final part of a $2.6 billion investment in its Valencia, Spain, manufacturing operations, transforming it into one of the world’s most advanced, flexible and productive auto plants.

The investment by Ford is the largest in the history of Spanish auto industry and will allow the Valencia plant to increase vehicle production by 40 per cent this year to about 400,000 vehicles, and will have the capacity to potentially build up to 450,000 vehicles a year.

Valencia also is today one of Spain’s top automotive exporters, with 80 per cent of its production being exported worldwide.

Ford now employs about 8,000 people at the facility, up from just below 5,000 in early 2013. Supplier operations supporting Valencia production also have added 1,500 jobs since 2013.

“This world-class facility will help Ford’s accelerate its growth in Europe and around the world,” said Mark Fields, Ford president and chief executive officer. “Valencia is not only a major hub of production – building vehicles and engines exported to 75 countries worldwide – but also a centre of innovation employing some of the industry’s most advanced lean, flexible and environmentally friendly manufacturing processes.”

In 2015, Valencia will build six Ford nameplates and even more body styles. The plant currently builds the all-new Mondeo wagon, five-door, and four-door including the Mondeo Hybrid, Kuga SUV, Transit Connect light commercial vehicle and Tourneo Connect people-mover. The all-new S-MAX multi-activity vehicle, Galaxy seven-seat people-mover and the Vignale Mondeo go into production later this year.

The investment consisted of an initial $1.25 billion announced in 2011, followed by a further $1.37 billion since 2013. Valencia will be the sole European production source for all six Ford nameplates assembled at the plant. 

Flexible, modern and efficient The Ford Valencia facility has produced more than 11 million vehicles and 15 million engines since production started in 1976. The plant was officially opened by King Juan Carlos and Henry Ford II helping Spain emerge from decades of isolation from the global economic stage.

Almost 40 years later, the plant is at the forefront of Ford’s plan to accelerate the pace of the progress on its One Ford plan, deliver product excellence and incorporate innovation into every part of the business.

A new 89,000 m2 bodyshop constructed over nearly eight months raises the plant’s vehicle production capability to about 2,000 units per day. For production of Mondeo and Mondeo Hybrid, the plant was retooled to deliver an industry-first application of hydro-formed high strength steel.

Ford has constructed an additional paint shop, installing automated paint processes that remove the need for paint-drying between application stages, and dirt detection technology. This improves quality while delivering energy and productivity savings.

New assembly line processes make Valencia among Ford’s most efficient facilities, essential to managing the increased complexity of producing more models and derivatives than any Ford facility in Europe. For example, in line with the global Ford Production System, all production components are now transported alongside the vehicle in a pre-assembled kit, saving time and effort.

Since 2011 more than 900 new robots have been installed in the Valencia bodyshops, and 34 in the final assembly areas to help deliver the highest quality standards. Nearly 600 highly skilled engineers are involved in supporting the high-tech production processes in Valencia.

“Mondeo, S-MAX and Galaxy will grow the number of parts we manage from 7,000 to 18,000, requiring some fresh and innovative solutions,” said Tony Ades, operations manager, Valencia. “Strong relationships with unions and local government have been essential to developing a flexible facility that can respond quickly and efficiently to changes in demand for our vehicles, with a highly trained and motivated workforce able to operate across our assembly lines.”

Last year, the plant contributed to Ford’s sustainability goals by recycling 3,850 tonnes of wood, paper and cardboard, and by improving its efficiency in water and electricity consumption per car by three per cent. 

Vignale Center Valencia will in 2015 also complete a new Vignale Center, a specially-created department dedicated to ensuring exacting levels of quality and fulfilling customer expectations of Ford’s new upscale Vignale product and ownership experience.

Vignale debuts this year with the Ford Vignale Mondeo, and each vehicle will pass through an additional sign-off process where trained experts will assess criteria including paint finish and panel alignment assisted by the latest laser and camera technology.

“Ford is the engine behind automotive industry growth in Spain,” said Jose Machado, chairman, Ford of Spain. “The combination of innovative product, forward-looking investment, strong local relationships, and hardworking, flexible employees will continue to deliver meaningful progress in improving our overall business in Europe.”

FORD ADDS 1,550 JOBS TO SUPPORT DEMAND FOR ALL-NEW F-150; HUNDREDS OF ENTRY-LEVEL WORKERS TO ATTAIN ‘NEW TRADITIONAL’ STATUS

  • Ford is adding 1,550 new jobs to its Kansas City Assembly, Dearborn Stamping, Dearborn Diversified and Sterling Axle facilities to meet growing demand for the all-new 2015 F-150 – the toughest, smartest, most capable F-150 ever
  • As part of Ford’s commitment in the 2011 UAW-Ford collective bargaining agreement, approximately 300 to 500 workers – the first group of “new traditional” employees – will transition in the first quarter, based on attrition and growth, to $28.50 an hour
  • The entry-level agreement has enabled Ford to invest more than $6.2 billion in its U.S. plants and hire more than 15,000 hourly UAW members – up from the 12,000 jobs that were promised by 2015 in the contract agreement
  • In January, Ford F-Series had its strongest sales month since 2004; F-150 sits just 12 days on dealer lots – turning faster than any other Ford vehicle

As Ford ramps up production of the all-new F-150, the company today announced it will add 1,550 new jobs across its Kansas City Assembly, Dearborn Stamping, Dearborn Diversified and Sterling Axle facilities in the first quarter of 2015. The new jobs will support production and growing customer demand for the recently launched 2015 Ford F-150.

With these new jobs, Ford has reached its entry-level allowance outlined in the 2011 UAW-Ford collective bargaining agreement. As a result, approximately 300 to 500 workers – the first group of “new traditional” employees – will transition, based on attrition and growth, from their entry-level wage of $19.28 an hour to their new wage of $28.50 an hour. The majority of these employees work at Kansas City, Chicago and Louisville assembly facilities.

“Thanks to stronger than expected customer demand, we’re adding 1,550 new workers to support additional F-150 production,” said Joe Hinrichs, Ford president, The Americas. “These jobs are further proof that customers recognize the all-new F-150 as the toughest, smartest, most capable F-150 ever. We sell every truck we can build, and we plan to build more.”

Of the 1,550 new jobs, 900 are allocated for Kansas City Assembly and 500 will be added between Dearborn Stamping and Dearborn Diversified, with the remaining 150 jobs going to Sterling Axle. These jobs are in addition to the more than 5,000 hourly jobs Ford added across its U.S. manufacturing facilities in 2014.

“This is very exciting news and these additional jobs will have an impact in communities all across our nation,” said Jimmy Settles, UAW vice president and director, National Ford Department. “This also represents a major milestone for employees hired under the entry level agreement, as many will now begin to convert to ‘new traditional’ wage status, as negotiated in the 2011 collective bargaining agreement.”

The entry-level agreement negotiated as part of UAW-Ford collective bargaining has helped improve Ford’s competitiveness and enabled the company to invest more than $6.2 billion in its U.S. manufacturing facilities. Ford has hired more than 15,000 hourly UAW members – exceeding its goal of creating 12,000 hourly jobs in the United States by 2015.

Toughest, smartest, most capable F-150 ever The all-new F-150 is the toughest, smartest and most capable F-150 ever – boasting a military-grade, aluminum-alloy body and high-strength steel frame, and shedding up to 700 pounds for a lighter, more efficient truck than any previous F-150.

These weight savings lead to customer benefits regardless of model configuration or engine choice. The innovative new truck can tow up to 1,100 more pounds and haul up to 530 more pounds than the 2014 model, and has the highest EPA-estimated fuel economy ratings of any full-size gasoline pickup on the market. When equipped with an available 2.7-liter EcoBoost® engine, the new F-150 4×2 has EPA-estimated fuel economy ratings of 19 mpg city, 26 mpg highway and 22 mpg combined. Actual mileage may vary.

Numerous groundbreaking features debuted in the all-new F-150, including these class-exclusives:

  • 360-degree camera view uses exterior cameras to create a bird’s-eye view of the truck to help drivers park, maneuver in tight spots, and navigate narrow roads and trails
  • Integrated loading ramps enable easy loading of ATVs, motorcycles and mowers
  • BoxLink cargo management system combines metal brackets and custom cleats to secure a variety of accessories in the cargo box – from ramps to storage bins to bed dividers
  • Trailer hitch assist adds a new rearview camera feature that incorporates a dynamic line based on steering wheel angle in the display to help customers line up their truck and trailer with no spotter or need to exit the vehicle
  • Remote tailgate allows for tailgate to be locked, unlocked and released with the key fob

To manufacture the all-new Ford F-150, the truck team designed an innovative process that includes the latest in advanced materials and in forming and joining technologies.

The new manufacturing process called for the overhaul of both Dearborn Truck and Kansas City Assembly facilities. Dearborn Truck saw its largest manufacturing transformation in decades wherein legacy manufacturing equipment was replaced with the latest in production technology. Changeover at the facility was completed last fall. Kansas City Assembly is currently undergoing a similar renovation that is scheduled to be complete in early 2015.

Combined, the two plants will have capacity to produce more than 700,000 trucks per year for availability in 90 markets globally.

F-150 is part of Ford F-Series, celebrating its 38th straight year as America’s best-selling truck and 33rd straight year as America’s best-selling vehicle. Ford sold 753,851 trucks in 2014.

The all-new F-150 is off to a tremendous start. In January, Ford F-Series had its strongest sales month since 2004, which was the company’s best sales year for the F-150 ever. In the first month of 2015, F-150 sat just 12 days on dealer lots – turning faster than any other Ford vehicle. In addition, more than 1 million people have built and priced F-150 configurations on Ford’s website.