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Ford discussed the past, present and future of automotive manufacturing

Ford Motor Co. celebrated the 100th anniversary of the moving assembly line this week at its Wayne Assembly plant by setting new goals for global manufacturing, and promising the next few years will mark the automakers' largest manufacturing expansion in 50 years.

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Nissan Leaf battery pack – Click above for high-res image gallery

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Two weeks from now, General Motors will start running its Fairfax assembly plant continuously on a permanent basis. The unprecedented around-the-clock operation, following on the heels of the temporary third shifts a few months ago, is intended to boost the plant's production from its current 4,500 vehicles per week to 6,300 units over the same period.

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Henry Ford's historical standing as the father of mass production has come under fire by a new paper published by Dr. Paul Nieuwenhuis and Dr. Pete Wells of the Centre for Automotive Industry Research at the Cardiff Business School. The paper posits that Philadelphian Edward G. Budd (shown at right) first implemented the use of the pressed steel car body and mass production. The doctors don't dispute the fact that Ford was responsible for developing mass production of certain mechanical componen

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