<!--:es-->Ford begins production of 2008 Ford Super Duty<!--:-->

Ford begins production of 2008 Ford Super Duty

LOUISVILLE, Ky.,– Ford Motor Company today begins production of a new F-Series Super Duty that will be the company’s most capable and refined pickup ever when it goes on sale early in the new year.

The new Super Duty – which represents 40 percent of Ford’s annual F-Series volume – features the cleanest and quietest Power Stroke® Diesel engine ever, a new exterior and interior design, as well as such innovations as an industry-first TailGate Step™ that allows easy access to the pickup bed.

Kentucky Truck Plant received a $65 million investment for a new trim line to assemble the 2008 Super Duty truck’s new “tough luxury” interior. The trim line includes a doors-off process, in which the doors are removed from the body after being painted. This makes it easier to install seats and instrument panels.

“The new Super Duty doesn’t just raise the bar for heavy duty pickups, it changes the game,” said Mark Fields, Ford’s President of the Americas, who joined Kentucky Truck employees as production began.

“Every aspect of the new line of Super Duty trucks – including capability, design and feature innovations – is the result of spending a great deal of time listening to our customers. There’s no other family of trucks like this,” Fields said.

Offered in three cab styles – Regular Cab, SuperCab and Crew Cab – and with two bed lengths, the new Super Duty features a bold look inside and out, as well as a new, more powerful Power Stroke ® Diesel engine. The 6.4-liter diesel delivers 350 horsepower at 3,000 rpm and 650 lb.-ft. of torque, starting at 2,000 rpm.

The engine utilizes Ford’s Clean Diesel Technology, which includes a high-pressure, common-rail fuel system, Piezo-electric fuel injectors and an advanced diesel particulate filter system. Together, they deliver strong performance while reducing particulate output by more than 90 percent and posting emissions numbers on par with gasoline engines.

The new Super Duty also features a long list of innovative features not found on other trucks. Among them is an integrated Tailgate Step, stowable bed extender and PowerScope power-fold, power-telescoping trailer-tow side mirrors for towing. In addition, Ford’s TowCommand™ System features an integrated trailer brake controller, and the TorqShift™ transmission improves towing performance.

New this year is an F-450 model that adds capability for customers who demand the most. It combines the right axle, right powertrain and right suspension to manage the loads of pulling a heavier trailer – while maintaining a refined, comfortable ride. The new F-450 offers industry-leading towing capacity in excess of 24,000 pounds and maximum payload of more than 6,000 pounds.

“We applaud the men and women of our Kentucky Truck Plant,” Fields said. “The launch is going so well we’re a week ahead of schedule.”

Kentucky Truck Plant Manager Todd Bryant credits a dedicated and experienced work force with the successful installation and launch of the new Super Duty line-up.

“This truck is a crown jewel in the Ford lineup, and all of us at Kentucky Truck Plant are proud to be the ones to build it,” said Bryant.

Kentucky Truck Plant opened in 1969 and is exclusively responsible for building the Super Duty line, which includes the F-250 to F-550. The 4.6-million-square-foot facility houses approximately 24 miles of conveyor belts and employs 5,154 people. The plant can assemble 75 vehicles an hour. Since production began in 1969, the plant has produced more than 5 million trucks of various types.

The new Super Duty already is receiving accolades. Last month, the vehicle took top honors as the 2006 “Texas Truck of the Year” awarded by the Texas Auto Writers Association. It was also recognized as “Best Designed Pick-Up” and “Best Use of Technology Pick-Up.”

About Ford Motor Company Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures and distributes automobiles in 200 markets across six continents. With nearly 325,000 employees and 110 plants worldwide, the company’s core and affiliated automotive brands include Aston Martin, Ford, Jaguar, Land Rover, Lincoln, Mazda, Mercury and Volvo. Its automotive-related services include Ford Motor Credit Company and Hertz. For more information regarding Ford’s products, please visit www.fordvehicles.com.