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[11/21/2002] Wixom, Michigan Assembly to Build Ford GT40 Supercar; Romeo to Supply Engine


Ford''s hot new supercar, the Ford GT, will be assembled at the Wixom Assembly Plant – home of the Ford Thunderbird, Lincoln LS and Lincoln Town Car.

Ford also announced the Ford GT’s powertrain, a supercharged MOD 5.4-liter DOHC V-8, will be built at the Romeo Engine Plant, in Romeo, Mich.

“Wixom assembly has a reputation for building award-winning vehicles such as the Ford Thunderbird, Lincoln LS and Town Car,” said Anne Stevens, vice president, North America Vehicle Operations. “Adding the legendary Ford GT is a tribute to Wixom''s talented and quality conscious workforce.”

“Romeo Engine is among Ford''s best production facilities producing some of the finest high-performance V-8 engines in the world,” said Dave Szczupak, vice president, Powertrain Operations. “Romeo’s outstanding workforce is sure to deliver the power behind Ford GT.”

As a tribute to Ford’s famous 1, 2, 3 finish at Le Mans in 1966, the first three vehicles will be produced to help commemorate the Company’s centennial celebration in June 2003. Full production will begin in Spring 2004 with plans to build about 1,000 units a year.

Because of the Ford GT''s low volume requirements and unique modular aluminum body construction, the Ford GT will be assembled at Wixom''s prototype build center located on the grounds of Wixom Assembly. It will not be integrated into the current assembly line process at the plant.

Wixom Assembly, which first opened in 1957, employs about 2,650 hourly employees and produces about 130,000 vehicles a year. The plant produced the first Ford Thunderbird in 1958 -- the year the legendary nameplate debuted. Since it began operation the plant has produced more than six million vehicles. Wixom Assembly was the first North American car assembly plant to win Ford''s Q1 award in 1991.

The Romeo Engine Plant produces 22 variations of Ford’s 4.6-liter and 5.4-liter single- and dual –overhead-cam V-8 engines. Products powered by the V-8 include: Ford Mustang, Crown Victoria, F-150, Expedition, Econoline, Mercury Grand Marquis and Lincoln Navigator The plant is launching new powertrains for five products being introduced this year: the all-new Lincoln Aviator and redesigned 2003 Lincoln Navigator, 2003 Mercury Marauder, 2003 Ford Mustang Cobra and 2003 Ford Expedition.

Romeo Engine Plant was awarded the prestigious 2002 Shingo Prize for Excellence in Manufacturing based on its outstanding achievements in lean manufacturing. Romeo has about 1,600 hourly employees, who produce an average of 3,200 engines a day and nearly 700,000 a year.

SOURCE: Ford Motor Company

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