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Padilla Announces Accelaration Of Fordís Investment Plan In Thailand


* Ford Motor Company President and Chief Operating Officer Jim Padilla reinforced Fordís commitment to Thailand in his meeting with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Industry, Suriya Jungrungreangkit.
* Padilla confirmed that Ford Motor Company is accelerating its second phase investment expansion of its Ford/Mazda (AAT) facility as committed by Bill Ford in October 2003
* Ford Motor Company is on track with its Baht 20 billion (US$500 million) investment plan to support new vehicle programs, facility upgrades and capacity expansion at its manufacturing plant.

BANGKOK, Thailand, December 16, 2005 Ė Ford Motor Companyís President and Chief Operating Officer Jim Padilla met with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Industry Suriya Jungrungreangkit today and announced the acceleration of Fordís second phase of investment at its Ford/Mazda (AAT) manufacturing facility. The second phase investment will be made over three years (2005 to 2008) and underpins Thailandís importance as a major international production hub for Fordís one-tonne pickup truck.

ďFirstly, let me congratulate Thailand on achieving a major milestone with its 1,000,000 unit rolling off the production line in 2005. This is a major step for Thailand in realizing its ĎDetroit of Asiaí ambition and Ford is pleased to play a major role in helping Thailand achieve this goal. Thailand is the home of our one tonne pickup truck and Fordís decision to accelerate our investments here signals its importance to our Asian manufacturing strategy,Ē said Padilla.

Over the next three years, Ford and Mazdaís manufacturing plant (Auto Alliance Thailand) has mapped out an aggressive growth plan for its second phase US$500 million investment which will include facility upgrades, tooling and engineering. Ford and Mazda will also expand the plant capacity, which will see it reaching 200,000 units per annum by 2008. It is currently producing 155,000 units per annum.

Established in 1995, with an initial investment of more than US$500 million, Auto Alliance Thailand (AAT) has developed into a world-class integrated vehicle manufacturing plant. Since the first truck came off the line in May 1998, the plant has made a net trade surplus of US$2.7 billion. In 2005, the plant will achieve a further milestone, by recording its best year yet, with total production volume forecast at 155,000 units, which includes export volume of more than 122,000 units.

Ford and Mazda has created incremental business for more than 148 local component suppliers, from which AAT purchases more than Baht 30 billion (US$752 million) of parts per annum. The plant, which uses 80% local content delivers a product of superior quality, which is accepted by more than 130 major markets around the world.

While Fordís outlook for the regionís automotive growth is promising, Padilla also outlined some of the key challenges the company has to face on a regular basis. These challenges emanate from a broad range of export and import regulations, varied tax structures and selective free trade agreements.

Padilla concluded by stating that Governments in the region, working in cooperation with business, can play a key role in overcoming these challenges to drive sustainable economic growth.

Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F), a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures and distributes automobiles in 200 markets across six continents. With more than 324,000 employees worldwide, the companyís core and affiliated automotive brands include Aston Martin, Ford, Jaguar, Land Rover, Lincoln, Mazda, Mercury and Volvo. Its automotive-related services include Ford Motor Credit Company.


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