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Ford Starts U.S. Production of Fusion

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To boost the supply of its new Fusion, Ford Motor Co. (F) is starting the production of the car at the Rock Assembly Plant in the U.S. As a result, the company has hired 1,400 new employees to support the new production capacity.

This is the first time that Ford will manufacture Fusion in the U.S., where it has a strong demand. Sales in the U.S. increased 13% to 181,000 through July this year.

The new manufacturing facility will boost the production of Fusion by at least 30%. Moreover, it will contribute toward Ford’s target of creating 12,000 new jobs in the U.S. by 2015. The company will hire 6,500 new employees this year and the new jobs created to support Fusion’s manufacture in the Rock Assembly Plant will take the company to 75% of its target.

Ford will train its new recruits in a simulated factory. The company has also established a flexible body shop in the new plant to manufacture a number of models on the same assembly line. The company has also upgraded the plant’s paint shop and installed laser brazing technique.

Ford Fusion is rapidly gaining market share and has a competitive conquest rate of 50%. The car is not only fuel efficient with a sleek design, but also offers the choice of gasoline, hybrid and plug-in hybrid powertrains. It also boasts Lane-Keeping System, adaptive cruise control, active park assist and MyFord Touch technologies.

Ford carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Other major automobile stocks worth considering are Tesla Motors, Inc. (TSLA), PACCAR Inc. (PCAR) and Volkswagen AG (VLKAY). Volkswagen carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), while Tesla and PACCAR carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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