Ford and Mazda's Michigan plant to raise output 29 percent
October 18, 2002
BY BILL KOENIG
Ford Motor Co. and Mazda Motor Corp. plan to raise production at their AutoAlliance International Inc. Michigan factory next year 29 percent to 90,000 cars with the addition of the Mazda6 sedan.
The plant plans to start making a model for Ford, AutoAlliance Chief Executive Officer Philip Spender said in an interview. Another auto "is critical to our ongoing success and we're working closely with Ford to get the right product," he said, declining to name models under consideration.
Ford is likely to start making the Mustang sports car at the plant, said Alan Baum, an analyst at automotive forecasting company Planning Edge. Baum expects a new version of the Mustang to be introduced in 2004, and the car line "in a peak year" may get Flat Rock close to capacity, he said.
The AutoAlliance factory in the Detroit suburb of Flat Rock formally started production today of the Mazda6, a model that has been made in Japan. Mazda, one-third owned by Ford, is trying to rely more on product demand for profit than from the benefits of cost reductions.
Production at AutoAlliance may increase to 100,000 in 2004 as station wagon and hatchback versions of the Mazda6 are introduced, Spender said. The plant has the capacity to make 300,000 vehicles a year and peak production was 270,000 in 1997, he said.
Shares of Ford, based in Dearborn, Mich., rose 23 cents to $8.49 at 4:01 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. Hiroshima, Japan-based Mazda earlier fell 1 yen to 263 yen in Tokyo.
My first car was a 67 Mustang Coupe, 2nd one was a 67 Cougar XR-7, 3rd one was a 66 Mustang Coupe. Why did I get rid of these cars for ? I know why, because I'm stupid, stupid, stupid.
My next Ford.....