Reporting Jeff Gilbert
Filed underAuto, Autos, Autos News, Daily J AM, Local, News, Radio.com - News, Syndicated Local, Syndication
FLAT ROCK (WWJ) - Ford beginning a year-long celebration of the Mustang’s golden anniversary, by rolling a very special Mustang off the line at the company’s Flat Rock Assembly Plant.
“Mustang is more than a car,” said Mustang Chief Engineer Dave Pericak. “It’s a way of life. It’s something enthusiasts dream about, historians celebrate and nearly everyone recognizes.”
Production of the Mustang moved to Flat Rock in 2004, after Ford closed the aging plant in Dearborn that had built the Mustang for most of its existence. In 49 years, Ford has built 8.5 million Mustangs.
“It’s an iconic car, and actually it turns fifty the year that I turn fifty,” said Flat Rock worker Scott McLellan.
The Flat Rock plant is in the process of gearing up to also start building the Ford Fusion, which is currently only built in a Ford plant in Hermosillo, Mexico. Flat Rock should begin adding Fusion production this summer.
“We’re building every one we can,” said Ford product development Vice President Raj Nair. “Hermosillo is running flat out. Demand is great.”
The Flat Rock plant, for years called AutoAlliance, had been jointly run by Ford and Mazda. Mazda pulled out, and now the facility is being run exclusively by Ford.
“Flat Rock has gone through an amazing transformation over the past year,” said Tim Young, plant manager, Flat Rock Assembly Plant. “We’ve invested $555 million including a state-of-the-art, fully flexible body shop and an upgraded paint shop to make sure we’re continuing to build the best of the best for the next one million Mustangs.”
The Mustang celebration was timed to coincide with the 49th anniversary of the debut of the original Mustang in New York. It’s believed that an all new Mustang will make its debut some time during the vehicle’s 50th birthday celebration, most likely at one of the major auto shows in the coming year. But, so far, Ford is not confirming a timetable.
Nair, however, says that the next generation Mustang will not only be sold here in the U.S. but it Europe and around the world.
“When we bring he next generation, and we offer it globally, I can’t wait to come back and talk about the next million Mustangs coming down the road, coming down the line at Flat Rock.”
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