Ford has announced a US$900-million additional investment at its two assembly plants in Thailand to prepare for the production of the new Ranger and Everest models.
The investment is the largest made by Ford, and strengthens Thailand position as a global production base for the company, according to a press release from the American automaker. Up to date Ford has invested over $3.4 billion in Thailand over 25 years.
It stated that 1,250 new jobs have been added along with a second shift at its production facilities – Ford Thailand Manufacturing and AutoAlliance Thailand (a joint-venture factory with Mazda) – bringing its total workforce in Thailand to over 9,000 people.
The investment will cover new technologies and systems for the plant, and includes a $400-million investment in the supply chain network, helping create another 250 new jobs.
The company is almost doubling the number of robots at both FTM and AAT, with the addition of 356 state-of-the-art robots at the body shop and paint shop. This brings the level of automation at the body shop at FTM and AAT from 34 percent to 80 percent and 69 percent, respectively. Ford’s manufacturing workforce will work seamlessly with high-tech equipment and tools to enhance manufacturing efficiency and quality and continue to improve overall customer satisfaction.
As part of the investment, Ford is the first auto manufacturer to implement ScanBox technology in Southeast Asia, it stated. This latest surface scan capability improves the time used to accurately measure the whole vehicle by five times during the assembly process, helping Ford to increase efficiency in problem solving for better quality control.
Ford also has increased its production capability for multi-variant truck production in FTM. By increasing model flexibility, the plant can produce multiple cab styles – single cab, open cab and double cab – on the same production line. This allows more flexibility in planning and scheduling so the plant can react more quickly to customer demand and reduce customer waiting time for a new vehicle.