Since CEO Alan Mulally took the helm in 2006, Ford Motor Company morphed from a multinational enterprise characterized by regional fiefdoms, to a truly global operation building cars on common platforms worldwide. Although names and some specifications may vary from market-to-market, this global commonality has allowed the company to shift its production mix from continent to continent, moving quickly to optimize output to the demand of specific markets. According to a report from The Detroit News, Ford is preparing to move production of the North American-spec Fiesta from Cuautitlan, Mexico, to Rayong, Thailand, starting with the next-generation model expected in 2016.
The Fiesta is currently built in seven plants worldwide, including India, China, Brazil and Germany. Production of the Fiesta is expected to shift from India to Thailand with the introduction of the next-generation model. The Thailand-build Fiestas are expected to be sold in the U.S., Canada, and Southeast Asian markets.
Ford did not have official comment on the reported move, other than saying in a statement, "We can't divulge our future product plans, but we're always looking for ways to optimize our global manufacturing capability."
The Cuautitlan plant currently only builds the Fiesta, and holds strategic importance to Ford, as vehicles built there are not subject to import tax. The plant was converted from F-Series pickup production to Fiesta in 2008. The plant has an output capacity of more than 300,000 vehicles per year.
Source: The Detroit News