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WAYNE, MI-Ford Motor Co. is investing $300 million in a 240,000-sf body shop expansion at its Michigan Truck Plant here. Ford says the body shop addition will expand the production capabilities of the plant as part of the company’s commitment to producing more new products, faster.

“This has been a tough, but gratifying year in manufacturing for Ford. We’ve transformed our plants to bring more products, faster to our customers,” says Matt DeMars, Ford vice president of vehicle operations. “Our goal is to build stability and standardization into our North American assembly and stamping plants, which is what flexible and lean manufacturing is all about.”

Ford says it is on track to meet its commitment of introducing flexible manufacturing into 75% of its body shops, trim and final assembly operations by the end of the decade. Flexibility in the body shop is the most important component of flexible manufacturing because of the complexity and cost of the operation.

The Michigan Truck Plant produces the Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator. It employs more than 3,000 hourly employees. The body shop addition will expand the production capabilities of the plant.

“This is an extremely exciting time for this plant and for the employees here,” says Gary Johnson, plant manager. “It reinforces to everyone our future, the long-term viability of the Michigan Truck Plant and our workforce. The new body shop expansion and flexible tooling give us a strong future with the capability of producing exciting new products.”

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