Report: Ford could export US vehicles, says Mulally

Article by Christian Andrei, on August 29, 2010

Ford is seriously considering the export of US-made vehicles due to the combination of factors that include flexible manufacturing plants, global vehicles and a weak US dollar, according to chief executive Alan Mulally who spoke with Automotive News.

In the interview, Mulally explained that it is a business decision and that this move is part of the company's plan to be flexible since being able to move up and down easier will allow it to support various markets.

Mulally declined to elaborate but some sources have said that there is a plan to export the Kuga crossover from a US production site. Currently, the model is being assembled in Germany and goes on sale in Europe.

A next generation version is set to go into production in Louisville, Kentucky , late in 2011, to replace the current Escape crossover.

It's likely that European-specification versions could be exported as well. It can be recalled that the US-made Escape, which was badged as the Maverick, was transported to Europe for several years before the European unit developed the Kuga to replace it.

For a select number of Asian markets, Mazda built Ford versions along with its own. Furthermore, Ford is expanding Fiesta production from the present Europe and China to Thailand and Mexico.

Thai cars are set to soon replace German units in some Asian markets. Last week, Ford of Europe CEO John Fleming said that if there is a demand, cars could be shipped from Mexico to Europe.

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