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December 9, 2021

Ford's Thailand Plant To Rely On Robots To Boost Build Quality Of Next-Gen Ranger, Everest

Ford is modernizing its Thailand manufacturing operations with a huge USD 900 million investment in new technologies and systems to build the next-generation Ranger and Everest. This marks the largest ever single investment the American carmaker has made in the Southeast Asian country. It will cover both the Ford Thailand Manufacturing (FTM) and Auto Alliance Thailand (AAT) plants.

“This is an important milestone to build on our quarter-century of commitment to producing vehicles Thailand, enabling us to further modernize and upgrade our local operations, and support production for the exciting upcoming launch of the next-gen Ranger, one of Ford’s highest volume and most successful vehicles anywhere in the world, and the next-gen Everest SUV,” said Yukontorn ‘Vickie’ Wisadkosin, president, Ford ASEAN and Asia Pacific Distributors Markets.

The overall investment brings Ford’s manufacturing facilities in Thailand in line with the latest global efficiency, flexibility, and quality processes, through extensive upgrades and new state-of-the-art manufacturing technologies and accompanying training for Ford employees and suppliers.

The company is almost doubling the number of robots at both FTM and AAT, with the addition of 356 state-of-the-art robots at the body shop and paint shop. This brings the level of automation at the body shop at FTM and AAT from 34 percent to 80 percent and 69 percent, respectively. Ford’s manufacturing workforce will work seamlessly with high-tech equipment and tools to enhance manufacturing efficiency and quality and continue to improve overall customer satisfaction.

As part of the investment, Ford is the first auto manufacturer to implement ScanBox technology in Southeast Asia. This latest surface scan capability improves the time used to accurately measure the whole vehicle by five times during the assembly process, helping Ford to increase efficiency in problem solving for better quality control.

Ford also has increased its production capability for multi-variant truck production in FTM. By increasing model flexibility, the plant can produce multiple cab styles—single cab, open cab and double cab—on the same production line. This allows more flexibility in planning and scheduling so the plant can react more quickly to customer demand and reduce customer waiting time for a new vehicle.

The Ranger and Everest are Ford’s most successful vehicles in Thailand, and the company continues to improve its offering with the recently revealed Thai-built next-gen Ranger. Built at both FTM and AAT, and due to be launched in mid-2022, the next-gen Ranger will be the smartest, most versatile and capable Ranger yet. It will be the first to benefit from the advanced technologies and modernized systems in place. Meanwhile, AAT will be the lead production hub for the upcoming next-generation Everest.

“We are proud of our 25 years of heritage in Thailand, and as we look ahead to the next 25, we remain relentlessly focused on delighting our customers with products and services they love,” Wisadkosin said. “Today’s investment announcement is a key part of Ford’s exciting journey in Thailand. We are all so pumped about producing the next-gen Ranger and Everest, as well as continuing to revolutionize the market every time we launch new products and service.”

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