Ford Investing in Spain Plant that Builds Transit Connect
Valencia Plant that Produces Van to Get Increased Production This Year
Ford is completing the final stage of its $2.6-million investment in the Ford Valencia Plant in Valencia, Spain, the manufacturing facility that produces the U.S.-market Transit Connect Van and Wagon. Ford began spending money on the plant in 2011, boosting its production output in the face of rising demand for Ford vehicles.
In 2015, Ford projects that the facility in Valencia will produce 400,000 vehicles, including the Transit Connect. That number is up 40 percent from its 2014 output of about 283,000 vehicles. That increase comes thanks to a new high-tech bodyshop that is capable of building 2,000 vehicles a day. That bodyshop boasts the industry’s first application of hydroformed high-strength steel and an additional automated paint shop whose processes remove the need for paint drying and dirt detection in between paint applications. The new production methods not only speed up the process but increase quality as well, according to Ford.
Of note, about 80 percent of Valencia’s yearly production is exported, which is great for Spain’s auto industry. That includes the compact vans we see on our dealership lots, as every Transit Connect and Tourneo Connect (our Transit Connect Van and Wagon, respectively) is built in Valencia. Spain’s former King Juan Carlos I and Henry Ford II opened the plant in 1976 as a way to end the nation’s economic isolation from the rest of the world.
In addition to the aforementioned compact vans, Valencia also produces the Ford Kuga (our Escape SUV) and Ford Mondeo (known to us as the Fusion). In 2015, some production capacity will be given to the Galaxy and S-MAX minivans, neither of which we get in the U.S. Valencia is just another feather in Ford's production cap, as the company recently announced that it would be hiring additional workers at the complexes that produce the F-150.