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29 July 2009

Ford starts mid-size Mondeo assembly in Vietnam

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Ford Vietnam late last week announced it was assembling the new mid-sized sedan Ford Mondeo at its plant in the northern province of Hai Duong to introduce to customers later this month at a competitive price to replace the imported car, reported on its website.

Vietnam will become the first country in Southeast Asia to manufacture this new generation Mondeo, which is popular in Europe, Australia, China and Taiwan, according to the company.

The new Mondeo is the only product receiving top investment from Ford in Vietnam, according to Ford Vietnam.

The Ford plant in Hai Duong is equipped with a new assembly line that is the first of its kind and most advanced in Vietnam.

“It utilises the same state-of-the-art automotive manufacturing technology, which is efficient and effective, and which is employed by Ford’s world-class European and North American operations,” said Michael Pease, general director of Ford Vietnam in a statement.

The new Mondeo, with its powerful 2.3-liter Duratec four-cylinder engine and new six-speed automatic transmission and fuel efficiency, has a price tag of VND836 million ($46,990), including VAT, compared to $56,900 for an imported Mondeo.

The new car is the first vehicle produced at Hai Duong to benefit from the new assembly line that uses a robotic system to perform “plasmatron welding” which joins the vehicle’s body and roof. The precision and uniformity of the robotic operations deliver consistency in the production of high-quality and high-value vehicles, according to the company.

Ford Vietnam in March announced the completion of the new, state-of-the art assembly line at its Hai Duong production facility. The new line represents the final piece of Ford’s $10 million investment in Vietnam that will ensure Ford Vietnam keeps pace with strong local demand for its full line of vehicles.

In 2008, Ford Vietnam recorded its best-ever annual sales of 6,500 units, representing an increase of 108 percent over 2007.

The Hai Duong facility assembles the Ford Everest and Ford Escape SUVs, Ford Focus cars and Ford Transit 16 passenger vans for the domestic market.

Ford established operations in Vietnam in 1995 with a registered capital investment of over $100 million. Today the company is the largest FDI auto maker in Vietnam.


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