Global Everest Suv Production At Autoalliance Thailand
Ford recently marked a major milestone with the commencement of its global Everest Job# 1 at AutoAlliance Thailand (AAT), Rayong Province on April 29th, 2003. Job#1 is the automotive industry term used for commencement of production for new vehicle model.
The Ford Everest SUV was first unveiled at its world premiere at the 24th Bangkok International Motor Show in March. The Everest, Fordís latest SUV, is a 7-seater SUV designed to provide comfortable and safe family transportation that is flexible and affordable.
"The Everest Job#1 launch ceremony is undeniably important to our Thai operations, but also carries significant impact to Ford around the world. It marks Thailand as the first country in the world to introduce the Everest. However, the vehicles that drive off the AAT production lines are not only for Thailandís local market but will be exported to global markets," said John Parker, president of Fordís ASEAN Operations.
"The Everest is a key product for Ford in Asia. This is a SUV that was designed and engineered to meet the needs of our customers, through their feedback, obtained in our extensive consumer research across the region. It is also the first time that Ford chose to launch a brand new product and a global nameplate here in Asia, allowing our customers in Thailand and neighboring countries to be the first to own a product of world-class build and quality with the Everest. We are confident of the appeal of the Everest and its success in each market to be introduced," he added.
As the newest Ford SUV, Everest extends Fordís claim to offer the broadest and most far-reaching line-up of SUVs on the planet. The Everest joins the ranks of it predecessors including the worldís best-selling SUV, the Ford Explorer, as well as the Explorer Sport Trac, Expedition and Escape. The Everestís tough exterior styling is characteristic of its Ford SUV heritage, and offers a commanding road presence. The interiors are class-leading in comfort and spaciousness with its dual, front and rear air-conditioning system, tiered seating and high equipment levels. It provides protection for the family with integrated safety equipment and boasts best-in-class ride and handling for greater passenger comfort.
The Everest offers a choice of 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic transmissions. It is available in two engine types Ė 2.5L inter-cooled turbo diesel and 2.6L EGI petrol engine in both 2-wheel and 4-wheel drive.
AutoAlliance Thailand is the central production base for the Everest worldwide. The vehicle will be manufactured with 80 percent Thai content. Following Thailandís debut, the Everest is scheduled for a multi-phased introduction planned for Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Cambodia, and Brunei. Ultimately, Everest will be available in more than 50 countries including Africa, the Middle East and South Pacific regions.
AAT is recognized as a center of excellence; the plant is known for its quality and excellence, particularly with the success of the award-winning Ford Ranger, that has won the J.D. Power "Best Quality Pickup" for two consecutive years in 2000 and 2001. AAT also has the distinction of receiving Fordís Global Customer Satisfaction Diamond Award in 2001. The plant currently builds and exports the Ford Ranger and Mazda Fighter to more than 130 countries.
Ford Motor Company is the world's second largest automaker, with approximately 335,000 employees in 200 markets on six continents. Its automotive brands include Aston Martin, Ford, Jaguar, Land Rover, Lincoln, Mazda, Mercury and Volvo. Its automotive-related services include Ford Credit, Quality Care and Hertz. With world headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan, Ford Motor Company will officially observe its 100th anniversary on June 16, 2003.