The Truth About Cars » Hermosillo The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Wed, 23 Jul 2014 18:25:17 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » Hermosillo As Fusion Builds Start at Flat Rock, Ford Considers More U.S. Production Fri, 30 Aug 2013 19:13:28 +0000 2014-Ford-Fusion-at-Flat-Rock-front-three-quarter-796x528

For the first time, yesterday Ford started assembling the midsize Fusion sedan in the United States as production began at their Flat Rock, Michigan facility. That move will add about 100,000 units a year to Fusion production, which was formerly only done in Hermosillo, Mexico. Ford is looking at options for expanding American capacity even more, should demand grow, and a Ford executive says that the Flat Rock plant could produce yet another model in addition to the Mustangs and Fusions that are currently assembled there.

“We certainly have the flexibility for the future to do more,” Ford president of the Americas, Joe Hinrichs told Reuters. “We’re trying to get our capacity set up to meet demand. With the growing demand for our trucks, growing demand for Fusion, other product lines, that’s what we’re focused on.”

Demand for the Fusion, up 13% from last year, outstripped Hermosillo’s supply, even though the car is currently selling at an average transaction price of about $2,300 more than the best selling car in its segment, the Toyota Camry.

“We could have sold more [Fusions] if we had more,” Hinrichs said. “We expect the sales momentum to stay here in the U.S. and around the world.”

The Flat Rock plant is flexible enough to handle another vehicle. The Mustang and Fusion currently built there are based on completely different platforms.

“The Mustang and the Fusion are two different platforms, so we’ll be introducing two right now, but we certainly have the flexibility for the future to do more,” Hinrichs said. “We could do a lot of different things.”

UAW officials also hinted that another vehicle could be built at Flat Rock. “I don’t think we’re done yet,” said Tony Bondy, chairman of the Flat Rock factory’s UAW Local 3000. “I’ll leave it at that.”

UAW workers at Flat Rock underwent an intensive production training program intended to eliminate quality control problems that plagued Fusion and Lincoln MKZ production startups at Hermosillo. “We’ve done an unprecedented level of training for the new workers here,” Hinrichs said at the Flat Rock plant.

Every one of the 1,400 workers hired to staff the added third shift at Flat Rock went through 40 hours of training that Ford says was more intensive than the training given prior to the launch of the Ford Escape at the Louisville assembly plant. Ford also says that lessons were learned from that launch and that of the MKZ. The new Escape was the subject of a number of recalls and the MKZ launch was hampered by supply and quality control issues.

Flat Rock workers are now said to be trained in a more realistic environment that includes 10 different training areas for different assembly operations. “We took actual conveyers in the factory and installed them over there so people are working on the car in position, just like they’re going to be working on the floor,” Flat Rock plant manager Tim Young said.

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Increased Sales Prompt Ford to Double MKZ Hybrid Production to 40% of Total for 2014 Thu, 18 Jul 2013 18:39:33 +0000 All-New 2013 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid

When the Lincoln MKZ was introduced, Ford Motor Co. took the unusual step of pricing the MKZ Hybrid the same as the non-hybrid version of the car, $35,925. Assuming that would mean a good take rate for the Hybrid, Ford production planners for the 2013 model year set the mix at 20% for the gas-electric MKZ. The take rate turned out to be so good that for 2014, 40% of MKZs made will be hybrids. That’s what Raj Nair, Ford’s group vice president of global product development, said at the automaker’s Dearborn campus on Tuesday. Hybrid sales in the U.S. market overall are up 18.3% for the first six months of this year, compared to 2012, and Ford has been benefiting from that surge. Ford’s share of the hybrid and EV market is now close to 16%, a huge improvement of 12% over last year. The C-Max, Fusion and MKZ hybrids have given the company a strong presence in the hybrid market. Ford attributes part of it’s overall U.S. market share increase of almost 1% over 2012 to electrified vehicle growth. For the first six months of 2013, Lincoln sold 3,090 MKZ Hybrid models, an average of 515 cars a month, but now that production delays that hampered the revised MKZ’s launch have apparently been overcome, for the 2nd quarter sales exceeded 715 units each month, closely matching the current build rate at Ford’s Hermosillo, Mexico assembly plant.

Source: The Detroit News

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Lincoln: MKZ Production & Inspection Issues Solved, Pipeline Full, Inventory Close to Normal, Sales Up Fri, 22 Mar 2013 22:08:07 +0000 Lincoln MKZ - photo courtesy of the Lincoln Motor Co.

The Detroit Free Press reports that Ford has caught up with production and quality inspection issues with the new Lincoln MKZ and that the pipeline to the dealers will be full in a matter of days.

Parts shortages and Lincoln’s desire to give each car a complete quality inspection, along with issues integrating MKZ production at Ford’s Hermosillo, Mexico assembly plant, already running three shifts following the launch of the all-new Ford Fusion, meant a slower than anticipated rollout of the car. Ford had set up a secondary inspection site at its Flat Rock, Michigan plant because the Hermosillo facility could not inspect them quickly enough.

Some of the cars shipped to Flat Rock had to wait for trim parts that were in short supply. Some buyers waiting for ordered cars had to have the leases on their current rides extended while they waited for those parts to be installed. Lincoln has been working with dealers and customers to smooth over any ruffled feathers.

Now that issues with trim parts have been resolved and Hermosillo is producing 100 MKZs a day, compared to 100 cars a week as it had been making, FoMoCo’s president of the America’s John Hinrichs said that the pipeline will be full by the end of March and that the Dearborn automaker and its Lincoln dealers will have normal inventory levels of the MKZ in April. Overall, Ford is increasing 2nd quarter production by 800,000 units over last year, a 9% bump.

Lincoln had hoped to have this kind of inventory of the MKZ back in January. Hinrichs said that as inventory levels have improved in recent weeks, so have Lincoln sales. Anecdotally, when I was in Dearborn a couple of weeks ago I noticed at least a half dozen brand new MKZs positioned around the entrance to Jack Demmer Lincoln, the closest Lincoln dealer to Ford’s headquarters.

Ronnie Schreiber edits Cars In Depth, a realistic perspective on cars & car culture and the original 3D car site. If you found this post worthwhile, you can get a parallax view at Cars In Depth. If the 3D thing freaks you out, don’t worry, all the photo and video players in use at the site have mono options. Thanks for reading – RJS

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