Ford to complete 2.3 billion euro investment in Spain
Ford Motor Co. said Thursday it will soon complete an investment of 2.3 billion euros — or about $2.6 billion in U.S. dollars — in its Valencia, Spain, manufacturing plant in order to increase capacity there.
The plant, which currently builds the Mondeo, Kuga, Transit Connect and Toureno Connect, will be able to increase vehicle production in 2015 by 40 percent to about 400,000 vehicles, Ford said. It will have the capacity to potentially build up to 450,000 a year.
Ford initially announced a 1.1 billion euro investment there in 2011, followed by a 1.2 billion euro investment in 2013.
"This world-class facility will help Ford’s accelerate its growth in Europe and around the world," said Mark Fields, Ford president and chief executive officer. "Valencia is not only a major hub of production — building vehicles and engines exported to 75 countries worldwide — but also a center of innovation employing some of the industry’s most advanced lean, flexible and environmentally friendly manufacturing processes."
Later this year, the plant will begin production of an all-new S-Max, Galaxy and Vignale Mondeo. Valencia will be the sole European production source for all six Ford nameplates assembled at the plant, Ford said.
“Mondeo, S-Max and Galaxy will grow the number of parts we manage from 7,000 to 18,000, requiring some fresh and innovative solutions,” Tony Ades, operations manager of Valencia, said in a statement. “Strong relationships with unions and local government have been essential to developing a flexible facility that can respond quickly and efficiently to changes in demand for our vehicles, with a highly trained and motivated workforce able to operate across our assembly lines.”
Since 2011 more than 900 new robots have been installed in the Valencia bodyshops, including 34 in the final assembly areas. Nearly 600 engineers are involved in supporting the high-tech production processes in Valencia.
Ford has constructed an additional paint shop, installing automated paint processes that remove the need for paint-drying between application stages, and dirt detection technology.
Ford has added about 3,000 jobs there since 2013, and now employs about 8,000 workers.
Since it opened in 1976, Ford’s Valencia plant has produced more than 11 million vehicles and 15 million engines.