Production of Ford Motor Company’s globally popular small car, the Ford Fiesta, kicked off today during an official ceremony at AutoAlliance Thailand's (AAT) new, state-of-the-art passenger car manufacturing facility in Rayong, Thailand.
Ford executives Raj Nair, vice president, Operations, Asia Pacific and Africa, and Peter Fleet, president, ASEAN, drove a pair of the first Thai-built Fiestas – a Highlight Silver four-door sedan and Chili Orange five-door hatchback – off the line to mark the official start of production.
Volume production is scheduled to ramp up at the Rayong plant over the coming weeks, with vehicles becoming available at Ford dealerships in Thailand and ASEAN markets from September.
“Today's celebration and start of production in Thailand marks the latest milestone in the global success story for Ford Fiesta," said Nair. “The Fiesta – which is now being built in five of Ford's global production hubs and available on five continents – is a leading example of our One Ford plan to develop vehicles that meet the needs, wants and expectations of customers around the world.”
Fiesta will be built in the new 70,000 sqm., US$500 million state-of-the-art passenger car plant at AAT. The new passenger car plant utilizes the latest auto manufacturing technologies, automated systems and process, and includes a fully integrated stamping line and body shop, trim and final process area.
The paint shop uses the world-class and environmentally-friendly three-wet technology paint process, which dramatically reduces VOC and CO2 emissions and waste, and improves painting quality.
“This new facility underscores the importance Ford places on the Thai market and the ASEAN region,” added Nair. “Fiesta will be built utilizing the latest auto manufacturing technologies to ensure world-class safety, quality and environmental friendliness.”
The debut of the newest Ford global compact in the ASEAN region follows a series of global introductions that started in Europe and have progressively moved around the world. Since its introduction, nearly one million Fiestas have been sold globally.
When developing the new Fiesta, Ford conducted extensive global customer research. Findings clearly indicated the need for style topped the list of customer desires everywhere in the world.
“Fiesta was developed with customers, not just for them,” explained Peter Fleet. “Fuel economy, spirited performance and efficient use of space are universal desires, across global markets – and Fiesta delivers.”
“In Asia Pacific, Europe and North America, customers are looking for a distinctively designed small car that offers world-class quality, convenience, comfort and connectivity,” added Fleet.
Designed to be versatile, personal and adaptable, Fiesta delivers best-in-class safety, convenience, and operating cost, as well as an expressive color palette. The Fiesta also features several first-in-class technologies in the ASEAN markets, such as PowerShift automatic transmission and connectivity that includes Voice Control communications with Bluetooth, and automatic climate control.
“We are absolutely confident that the Fiesta is the right car at the right time, and that consumers in Thailand and across ASEAN will respond with the same enthusiasm as have the nearly one million new Ford Fiesta owners around the world,” explained Fleet.
“We will set a new standard for small cars in ASEAN, with a truly fantastic car that delivers several first-in-class technologies, superior fuel economy, and an all-around fun driving experience,” said Fleet.
In addition to the AutoAlliance Thailand facility, the new Ford Fiesta is built at Ford plants in Nanjing, China; Cologne, Germany; Valencia, Spain; and Cuautitlán, Mexico.