TYCHY, Poland, September 25, 2008 – The first volume production example of the new Ford Ka rolled off the production line at a special ceremony today in Tychy, Poland, 12 years after the original Ka was launched to great acclaim.
Polish Deputy Prime Minister Waldemar Pawlak was guest of honour at the ceremony.
With sales due to begin across Europe from early next year, the new Ka will be fully revealed to the public at the Paris Motor Show next week.
The new Ka is the result of a joint vehicle development and production co-operation agreement between Ford and Fiat.
While it shares some components with the Fiat 500, which is also built in the Tychy plant, both vehicles look completely different and are true to the individual brands' identities.
The new Ka is unmistakably a Ford. It captures the same youthful and cheeky spirit of the model it replaces and retains all of the qualities which made the Ka so popular – its compact size, great looks, lively dynamics and fun personality – but presents them in a fresh new package.
Ford designers have given the new Ka a fashionable, modern appearance based around the company's 'kinetic design' form language. A number of visual cues provide a connection to the original Ka, but with its distinctive face and chunky proportions the new model has its own unique character.
"It was three years ago that we reached agreement with Fiat to produce the new Ka here in Tychy," explained Ian Slater, vice-president communications and public affairs, Ford of Europe. "One of the strengths of this co-operation has been that both parties wanted to produce vehicles which would be very different in looks and character. I'm satisfied that in doing so, we've set up a 'win-win' opportunity for both companies."
Annual production of Ford Ka will be 120,000 units a year.
The introduction of the Ka to Tychy has resulted in 1,000 extra jobs being created in the plant and many more among locally-based suppliers.
Ford investment in the project amounted to 210 million Euros. A new paint shop represents the biggest single investment. Using water-based paint and very low levels of solvent, it is a state of the art, environmentally friendly, facility.
Throughout its 12-year life the Ka has remained tremendously popular among small-car buyers, inspiring fierce loyalty from its owners. In total, Ka production has exceeded 1.4 million vehicles.
With the introduction of the new Ka, Ford of Europe will have changed its entire car range in record time. In 2008 alone, the company has brought more than 20 new and improved models to market.
The new Ka will also feature from November in the highly-anticipated new James Bond adventure, 'Quantum of Solace'. The car will make its screen debut being driven by Camille, the film's beautiful leading lady played by Olga Kurylenko.