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Mr. Embargo
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DEARBORN, Mich., Jan. 21, 2003 – In a move to deliver vehicle service and repair parts to dealers faster and more efficiently, Ford Motor Company will open a new parts distribution center in Shawnee, Kansas, in November 2003.

Ford will lease approximately 223,000 square feet of building space to develop a High-Velocity Center in Perimeter Park at 83rd Street and K-7 Highway in Shawnee. Catellus Development Corporation will oversee the project.

In 2001, Ford announced plans to replace its existing group of 10 parts distribution facilities with 21 new centers located around the country. These new centers will create a nationwide network of specialized parts hubs that will allow dealers to order and receive parts every day, instead of the once-per-week standard under the previous system.

"At Ford Motor Company, we are absolutely committed to superior customer satisfaction. And we're not just talking about it, we're taking action," said Don Johnson, director, Global Parts Supply & Logistics, Ford Customer Service Division.

"There's no question that this new network will provide the most efficient and cost-effective parts delivery to our dealers throughout the country," Johnson continued. "In fact, for the nine new facilities that have opened thus far, dealer order-to-delivery time has improved 80 percent, and we've already seen a significant increase in customer satisfaction."

The new High-Velocity Center in Shawnee will be one of 19 such facilities opened across the country. These centers will concentrate high-volume parts in locations close to dealers to provide daily delivery and improve parts availability for customers' repairs, while improving dealer inventory performance. Items distributed by these centers – such as filters and spark plugs -- account for more than 80 percent of dealers' needs for customer repairs.

The Shawnee facility will supply vehicle service and repair parts to about 320 dealers in Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Illinois. Dealers will order from 30,000 part numbers stocked in Shawnee, with 16,500 pieces picked and shipped to customers every day.

The Shawnee center will have about 50 employees, most transferring from other Ford Motor Company facilities.

New distribution centers in Memphis, Tenn.; Manteca (Sacramento), Calif.; Houston; Denver; Fort Worth, Texas; Phoenix; Ontario, Calif.; and Portland, Ore., opened this year. In addition to the facility in Shawnee, Kan., new centers in Menomonie, Wis.; Princeton, Ind.; Davenport, Fla.; and Mebane, N.C., are scheduled to begin operations in 2003. Other centers will be launched in key areas around the country through 2004. Specific locations will be announced as they are finalized.
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