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Flexible manufacturing conversion puts Ford’s Oakville plant in lead for new models

Oakville , ON Ford Motor Company's first flexible assembly plant in Canada has been selected to build the all-new...


Oakville , ON Ford Motor Company’s first flexible assembly plant in Canada has been selected to build the all-new 2007 Ford Edge and Lincoln MKX crossover utility vehicles (CUVs).

Announced Jan. 8,2006, at the 2006 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, the decision gives Ford of Canada a foothold in the auto industry’s fastest growing vehicle segment widely expected to outpace SUVs this year.

“The news couldn’t be better. The new Ford Edge and Lincoln MKX put Ford of Canada in an awesome position to compete globally for customers seeking bold, modern and stylish new crossovers,” said Bill Osborne, president and CEO, Ford Motor Company of Canada, Limited.

“The Oakville Assembly Complex is becoming a jewel among Ford’s manufacturing operations,” he added.

The Lincoln MKX also represents an historic footnote for Ford in Canada as the first Lincoln to be built here in any significant volume. Save for fewer than 200 1936 Lincoln Zephyrs built in Windsor, Ont., only Ford and Mercury vehicles have been made in Canada in the past 102 years.

Edge and MKX go on sale in the fourth quarter and will join the Ford Freestar and Mercury Monterey as models built in Oakville.

The 5.4 million sq ft (486,000 sq m) complex west of Toronto employs nearly 4,000 people and is under going a massive, $1 billion conversion to flexible manufacturing. As a flexible plant, OAC can build multiple models on unique platforms.

“Flexible manufacturing allows quick response to shifts in market demand, helping to build a strong future for our operations,” said OAC plant manager Frank Gourneau.

Since 1990, Ford has invested more than $10 billion in its Canadian operations.