Production of the All-New 2015 Ford Edge Officially Kicks Off With 400 New Employees

$700 Million Investment Brings Global Vehicle and New Jobs to Canada

  • With 1,400 new Ford employees – 400 newly announced and 1,000 announced in 2014 – and a C$700 million investment, Ford Motor Company celebrates the global production start of the all-new 2015 Ford Edge at the newly transformed Oakville Assembly plant in Canada

  • The Edge is all-new from wheels to roof, designed to reset the standard in the two-row utility vehicle market with more technology, higher levels of craftsmanship, performance and greatly improved vehicle dynamics

  • The Edge goes on sale later this spring in Canada and the United States, and will eventually be available in more than 100 countries, including Western Europe for the first time

OAKVILLE, ON, Feb. 26, 2015 /CNW/ - Ford Motor Company announced today at its Oakville Assembly plant outside of Toronto, Canada, the official start of production of the all-new 2015 Ford Edge for global export to more than 100 countries.

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20150226/178199)

To support the global launch of the Ford Edge, Oakville Assembly also announced today the addition of 400 new employees to supplement the 1,000 new employees that were announced last year. With an investment of C$700 million, the Oakville Assembly plant has undergone a retooling and expansion, transforming it into one of the most competitive and advanced global manufacturing plants in Canada.

"The all-new Ford Edge is a true global vehicle and a showcase of Ford's product excellence," said Joe Hinrichs, Ford's president of the Americas. "Thanks to the new capabilities at Oakville Assembly, the 2015 Edge delivers improved driving dynamics, quality, quietness, interior space and even more technology, and we are proud for our Canadian team to start bringing Edge to customers in even more markets around the world."

The Ford Edge will eventually be shipped around the world, from North America and South America, to Asia, Africa and the Middle East. With the addition of right-hand-drive and a diesel engine, the Edge will also be exported for the first time to Western Europe.

The enhancements at Oakville Assembly will enable Ford to shift production more quickly and efficiently to meet increasing consumer demand. Worldwide demand for utility vehicles is up 88 per cent since 2008 and utilities now account for 19 per cent of the global automotive market, with the segment expanding more than three times the rate of the vehicle industry overall.

In Europe, the utility vehicle segment grew from nine per cent market share in 2008 to 21 per cent in 2014. In the United States – Ford Edge's biggest market – the vehicle has been the best-selling five passenger crossover utility for seven out of the eight years since its launch.

"We're proud to show the world advanced manufacturing right here in Canada and look forward to serving new global customers," said Dianne Craig, president and CEO, Ford Motor Company of Canada, Ltd. "The Oakville Assembly team has worked relentlessly to deliver a quality product to the highest standard – from bringing in the best of Ford's manufacturing technologies to training new employees across the facility."

All-New Ford Edge

The 2015 Ford Edge is a showcase of Ford technology and craftsmanship, with a suite of standard and available technologies designed to improve the driving experience and the level of occupant comfort. Technologies being offered for the first time include enhanced active park assist for parallel and side parking, side parking sensors and a front camera with washer.

Central to the improved driving dynamics is an entirely new body structure and redesigned suspension – front and rear – developed specifically to better isolate road imperfection and absorb noise without compromising handling, giving Edge customers a quieter and more substantial ride. 

The all-new 2015 Ford Edge will be the first Ford vehicle in North America powered by the company's new twin-scroll 2.0-litre EcoBoost® engine. The 2015 model is the first Edge to come standard with EcoBoost power. This new twin-scroll 2.0-litre EcoBoost engine is expected to be more responsive and fun to drive, with better performance feel, compared to the current 2.0-litre EcoBoost engine.

When it goes on sale this spring, the all-new Ford Edge will be available in a new range-topping Titanium series, as well as the base SE model and SEL series.

Also available this year, is the 2015 Ford Edge Sport which has been officially SAE-certified as the most powerful Edge ever, with the highest horsepower and torque ratings yet. Powered by Ford's newest EcoBoost® engine – a 2.7-litre V6 – the 2015 Ford Edge Sport builds on its reputation as the modern utility vehicle for people who want to have fun behind the wheel and look good doing it.

Oakville Assembly Transformation

Oakville Assembly Plant has undergone a massive transformation to include new technology and robotics, new processes, and new training. More than 250 new robots were added, including new software and vision systems that improve efficiency, precision and quality. In addition, approximately 1,000 robots have been upgraded. These robots have been installed to work to the most demanding levels of precision and accuracy – with duties to ensure repeatable and high-quality assembly, including:

  • New robots to apply urethane to glass for consistent application every time creating a perfect seal that reduces wind noise and improves quietness and comfort for the customer
  • New robots to install panels, doors and hoods reducing variability and offering more control in installation for a more durable build
  • Laser brazing with new robotics to offer cleaner lines and higher strength and precision in the seaming of the roof for a more high-end design
  • A "Vehicle on Wheels" visions system to ensure the flushness of doors, hood and lift gate through laser and optical images for a seamless fit
  • 3D dirt detection technology and increased robotic automation in paint to employ a more durable paint application, resulting in best-in-class exterior appearance and a flawless finish. 3D dirt detection technology uses high resolution cameras to detect and locate any paint imperfections not readily seen by the naked eye

To prepare for Oakville's 1,400 newest hires, a simulation classroom was created to provide hands-on training. Throughout the plant, existing employees received training to manage new systems and processes.

"The new global Edge is an excellent and timely indication that Canada's auto industry is poised to excel in coming years," said Jerry Dias, national president, Unifor. "Canadian auto workers have consistently demonstrated superior productivity and quality results, which are essential to the success of an innovative vehicle like this one. This new vehicle is great news for the company and its workers, and good news for all Canadians who benefit from a strong auto industry and the revenue it generates."

Oakville Assembly has also been recognized for its environmental efforts. The plant is the first North American assembly plant to go zero waste-to-landfill, and has recently upgraded to LED lighting across the plant, replacing 7,000 lights and saving an estimated 15 million kilowatt-hours of energy per year.

Operating since 1953, Oakville Assembly also produces the Ford Flex and the Lincoln MKT. It will also begin production of the new global 2016 Lincoln MKX this year. The facility has approximately 4,500 employees working a partial three shift schedule. Since 2013, Oakville Assembly has hired more than 1,700 employees.

About Ford Motor Company of Canada, Limited
Ford of Canada's operations include a national headquarters, three regional offices, two branch offices, three vehicle assembly and engine manufacturing plants, and two parts distribution centres. Ford employs approximately 7,000 people in Canada, while an additional 18,000 people are employed in the more than 400 Ford and Ford-Lincoln dealerships across the country. For more information, please visit www.ford.ca.

SOURCE Ford of Canada

Image with caption: "Joe Hinrichs, Ford’s president of the Americas, joins Oakville Assembly employees to celebrate the official start of production of the all-new 2015 Ford Edge. In total, 1,400 employees have been hired since 2014 to support the new global vehicle. (CNW Group/Ford of Canada)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20150226_C6465_PHOTO_EN_12633.jpg

For further information: Contacts: Michelle Lee-Gracey, Ford of Canada, 289-834-1094, mgracey1@ford.com; Kristina Adamski, Ford Motor Company, 313-588-0849, kadamsk1@ford.com

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http://www.ford.com

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