Ford plans to increase annual production at its plant in the eastern Spanish city de Almussafes by 80 percent to 300,000 units, the head of the U.S. automaker's Spain unit said Monday.
Ford Spain chief Jose Manuel Machado made the announcement at an event to kick off exports from Almussafes of the compact Kuga SUV, attended by Spain's ministers of industry, Jose Manuel Soria, and of foreign affairs, Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo, as well as by Valencia regional President Alberto Fabra.
Soria congratulated Ford for its 35 years of success in Spain and noted the positive effects of the government's plan to promote sales of new, less-polluting cars.
The industry in Spain "knows what the problems of expansion are" and "what we have to do," Garcia-Margallo said, adding that Ford "has understood how to forge ahead" and will be "an ambassador" for Brand Spain.
The new Kuga, to be sold in 72 countries, forms part of the investment plan of 1.11 billion euros ($1.44 billion) in the Almussafes plant, Spanish industry's largest investment in decades.
The Ford factory in Valencia thus becomes the standard for C-segment cars, roughly equivalent to the compact car segment in the U.S., which enjoys the greatest demand and sales success on the European market. EFE