The first Mondeo has made its way down the production line at Ford's production line in Genk, Belgium. The Genk plant has undergone a big upgrade and is one of the most flexible in Ford's production arsenal. The plant was already building S-Max and Galaxy vehicles, and now with the Mondeo added to the mix, there are five different body styles being turned out at a maximum rate of 1,200 cars per day. Keeping it interesting for the workers, the different body styles can come down the line in any order, as well. It looks like Ford's investment of over 700 million Euro will be paying off as they ramp up full production on their lauded European offerings. While 98 percent of the Genk plant's output will be for export, the United States is not one of the 60 countries these cars are headed. A shame, as we really dig the Euro Fords.
Press release after the jump
GENK, Belgium, March 27, 2007 – Less than 12 months after the official production start of the successful Ford S-MAX and new generation Ford Galaxy, the first all-new Ford Mondeo today rolled off the same production line at Ford Genk.
An investment program totaling €715 million was made at Genk in support of the three new models. And once production is running at maximum capacity, almost 1,200 Mondeo, S-MAX and Galaxy models will be built there each day, with 98 percent of the total being exported to more than 60 countries.
"After the international recognition and success of both the Galaxy and the S-MAX, which was voted Car of the Year 2007, the new Mondeo completes the Ford range in the crucially important European CD segment," said John Fleming, Ford of Europe's president and CEO.
"Following the introduction of a new, flexible production system over the past year, Ford Genk has made gains in its efficiency and quality, and it remains the cornerstone of the production of Ford's large car line-up," he added.
From today as many as five different body styles will roll off the same production line at Genk – and in any order. These body styles are S-MAX, Galaxy, Mondeo four-door, Mondeo five-door and Mondeo wagon (estate). Genk is the only Ford plant to produce all these models.
"Thanks to the far-reaching modernization of our production plant, Ford Genk achieves pace-setting production quality and flexibility, enabling us to respond quickly to the ever changing demands of our customers", says Guy Martens, general manager of Ford Genk.
Since the Genk production plant opened in 1964, more than 12.6 million vehicles have been built there. It is one of the most modern vehicle assembly factories in Europe, and together with the Volvo production plant at Gent it accounts for more than half the total production, employment and export of Belgium's automotive sector. The plant has 5,800 employees.
The sales launch across Europe of the new Ford Mondeo is planned for the first half of June 2007.The start of new Mondeo production is the second Job 1 ceremony for Ford of Europe this week. On March 26, Ford began production of the new Ford C-MAX at its plant in Saarlouis, Germany.