Ford to streamline vehicle production

Thursday, April 17th 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

(New York-AP) -- Ford Motor Company says it is aiming to reduce by 25 percent the time needed to design and produce new vehicles.

The world's second-largest automaker is trying to reinvent its core business in its centennial year.

Ford introduced the newest addition to its car lineup yesterday in New York, a mid-size sedan called the Futura. The car is scheduled for initial production in 2005. It eventually will replace the aging but once extremely popular Taurus, which Ford plans to phase out in the next few years.

At least one model of the new sedan is expected to be built in Hapeville. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports in today's editions that the new line of cars could spare jobs at the Hapeville plant, where the company has turned out the Taurus and Sable since 1985.

Some 23-hundred employees work in the plant.

The Futura will be available with a hybrid engine. It is designed to compete with the Honda Accord, Nissan Altima and Toyota Camry.