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Ford to launch 16 vehicles in North America next year

Keywords: Tags  Ford Motor, vehicle launches, Kansas City assembly plant, China plants, Brazil plant, Raj Nair, Joe Hinrichs, F-Series Corinna Petry

CHICAGO — Ford Motor Co. will launch 23 new vehicles worldwide in 2014, which will require additional staffing in the United States and the construction of manufacturing plants abroad.

Expanded platforms and production also will increase demand for additional raw materials, including steel, aluminum sheet, cast aluminum, copper and brass, and magnesium.

"We are embarking on our most ambitious global launch year ever," Raj Nair, group vice president for global product development, said in a statement.

Ford will launch 16 new vehicles in North America, including the Ford Mustang, Ford Transit Connect, Ford Transit and Lincoln MKC, about three times as many vehicle launches as it did in 2013.

"We saw unprecedented growth in the United States this year, especially in the midsize and utility segments," said Joe Hinrichs, Ford president of the Americas.

Production of the Transit will begin during the second quarter at Ford’s retooled Kansas City assembly plant, where Ford is investing $1.1 billion to retool and expand the facility to support demand for the Ford F-150 pickup truck as well as the Transit family of commercial vehicles. F-series sales were up 20 percent through November and Ford expects 2013 sales of F-series trucks to total more than 730,000.

Next year, Ford expects to open its Changan Ford assembly plant No. 3 and the Changan transmission plant in Chongqing, China, as well as the Camaçari engine plant in Brazil. The new Chongqing assembly plant will increase Ford’s Chinese production capacity by 300,000 vehicles.

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