Ford Reveals More Future Product Plans

Ford's aim to offer new product and revise its model mix isn't news, but today's announcement from the automaker shines much more light on what Fords lie in our future.

Although we knew about the pending release of the European Transit Connect van in 2009, Ford has dropped some specifics about other upcoming programs.

2010 Ford Fusion, Mercury Milan, Lincoln MKZ

Refreshed versions of these midsize sedans are expected to launch in early 2009. Fusion and Milan will also be offered as hybrids, with fuel economy that's promised to top that of the Toyota Camry hybrid.

2010 Ford Mustang

A revised form of the pony car, already being previewed to enthusiasts across the country, will hit dealers in early 2009. We're expecting a debut at the 2008 Los Angeles auto show.

2010 Ford Taurus

A thoroughly restyled Taurus sedan will launch in the middle of 2009. Ford plans on offering its EcoBoost technology (turbocharged engines with direct-injection) in the new car.

2010 European Ford Fiesta and Focus

We knew the cars would (finally) make their way to the U.S. for 2010, and Ford has now revealed they'll arrive in both four- and five-door models. There's no word on whether a three-door Focus, especially in RS trim, would make its way stateside.

2010 Lincoln crossover

Ford claims its luxury division will receive a seven-passenger crossover halfway through 2009. Given the vehicle's description and the hint that it'll receive the EcoBoost powertrain, we're expecting a Lincoln version of the Ford Flex. Time will tell if styling from the MKT concept transitions into production.

2010 "Small Cars"

We've precious little detail on what Ford is planning here, but the company claims it will launch a new small car as a Mercury in 2010, alongside another small vehicle with roots in Europe. The latter is described as a "whitespace" entry, suggesting it may be a unique offering in our market.

2010 Ford Explorer

The ubiquitous Explorer will abandon the traditional body-on-frame structure for unibody construction in 2010. Given that, and the promise of an EcoBoost motor and a six-speed automatic, we're expecting it to be similar in concept to the Explorer America concept shown at the 2008 Detroit show. Ford claims the changes will help the model return a 25 percent improvement in fuel economy.

Along with the new products come a number of changes to Ford's assembly plants. The automaker already revealed its intention to switch factories from building slow-selling full-size trucks to small cars, so these revelations aren't earth shattering.

Ford's Michigan Truck Plant in Wayne, Michigan, may have to revise its name. Presently home to the Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator SUVs, the factory will be retooled starting in December of 2008 to build the 2010 European Focus for the North American market.

Production for both the Expedition and Navigator will move to the truck plant in Louisville, Kentucky, although a line in the same facility will also be responsible for assembling the 2010 Focus.

Ford's factory in Cuautitlan, Mexico, will build the 2010 Fiesta for North America instead of its present product, the F-Series trucks. Expecting further declines in the full-size truck segment, Ford has extended the life of the Ford Ranger by two years, giving the plant in St. Paul, Minnesota, an extra two years of work.

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