America isn't the only country that loves trucks.
This year has been hard on manufacturers across the globe, and the ongoing chip shortage and logistical backlogs, in general, have caused chaos in the automotive industry. Ford has not been left out of the fray and has been forced, on numerous occasions, to shut down some of its plants. Despite these setbacks, the Dearborn powerhouse's future still seems bright: Ford's pickup game is stronger than ever, and with models such as the F-150 Lightning on the horizon, the company is seeing dollar signs. Its foreign business ventures are also looking good. So good in fact that Ford is investing $900 million into modernizing its Thailand plants to manufacture the next-generation Ford Ranger and Everest.
The massive investment will see Ford's Thailand manufacturing operation become an even more significant base for international exports, and will add 1,250 jobs and a second shift at the FTM plant, bringing the total number of Ford employees in Thailand to 9,000. The modernization will also allow Thai plants to manufacture next-generation vehicles.
"This is an important milestone to build on our quarter-century of commitment to producing vehicles in 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 of Ford ASEAN and Asia Pacific.
Ford will be doubling the number of robots it uses at its Thailand manufacturing plant with the addition of 356 state-of-the-art robots at the body and paint shop, which will raise automation to around 80%. Ford's ScanBox technology will also be implemented for the first time, allowing for fast measurements and quality control. These improvements will help Ford produce its best-selling Ranger and Everest in even greater numbers and broaden its footprint in Thailand and the rest of Southeast Asia.
"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," adds Wisadkosin. "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 services."