Ford Saarlouis Plant Produces Eleven Millionth Vehicle
Ford of Europe’s Saarlouis plant in Germany has produced its eleven millionth vehicle, a moondust silver C-MAX which rolled off the production line today.
Celebrating the milestone, John Fleming, Ford of Europe President and CEO, Jacques Pollenus, Plant Manager; Roland Henz, the Lord Mayor of the City of Saarlouis, as well as Gilbert Hess, Chairman of the Saarlouis works council, were in the car as it drove off the production line, watched by employees and members of the Ford of Europe senior management team. The anniversary vehicle will now be delivered to a customer in Germany.
“We’re very proud of the Saarlouis plant and its employees, as well as the vehicles it produces,” said John Fleming. “The Ford Focus and C-MAX models sit at the heart of our European product portfolio, and it is particularly fitting that this milestone is being reached just as the plant is about to start production of our new 2008 Focus range.”
The Ford plant in Saarlouis is the largest employer in Germany’s Saarland region. The plant’s skilled workforce includes 6,500 employees with a further 2,000 people employed in a neighbouring supply park. According to international research studies, the plant’s lean and flexible manufacturing processes make it one of the most efficient both within Ford and the European automobile industry.
Daily production volume at the plant is currently around 1,940 vehicles in a three-shift operation. Three-door, five-door and wagon (Turnier) Focus models account for approximately two-thirds of the plant output.
“This milestone emphasises the outstanding performance of the Saarlouis location, which is among the most efficient automobile plants in Europe,” said Plant Manager Jacques Pollenus. “After reaching the ten millionth mark, the workforce has now produced a further one million cars in less than two years. This is the result of great teamwork and good plant capacity utilisation.”
The first model in the 37-year history of the Ford plant in Saarlouis was the Escort Mk 1. This was followed by Ford Capri, Fiesta and Orion models. The most popular model from Saarlouis is the Escort, with more than 6.5 million units manufactured at the plant between 1970 and 1998.
Saarlouis is the main Ford of Europe plant for the Focus, which has been built there since August 10, 1998. More than 80 per cent of all Focus and C-MAX models are exported to some 70 different countries including Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, South Africa and the United Arab Emirates. The most important export markets are Great Britain, Italy, Spain, France, the Benelux countries, Sweden and Poland.
The Saarlouis plant is the only Ford facility that produces the C-MAX, the sporty Focus ST and the wagon variants of the Focus range. In addition, the plant’s car body unit also supplies vehicle parts to the St. Petersburg plant in Russia, and to the Focus Coupé-Cabriolet production line at the Pininfarina s. p. A. vehicle assembly plant in Turin, Italy.
Last year a total of 405,444 vehicles – 129,080 C-MAX and 276,364 Focus models ‑ rolled off the production line in Saarlouis.
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