German automation group Kuka Systems said on Tuesday it had received an order from Ford to build a car body production line at the automaker's plant in Rayong, Thailand.

Kuka will construct a production line for the Focus model and expects to complete it by the end of 2011, it said without disclosing any financial details. The automated line will have underbody, body side, door and hatchback manufacturing stations.

The redesigned Focus will be built in Thailand both for the domestic market and for export to the Asia-Pacific region, including Australia, where it will replace cars currently shipped from South Africa and Germany.

Kuka Systems will use an international team of systems engineers from Detroit, Augsburg, Germany, and Shanghai to install the body line.

CEO Till Reuter said: "This bigger order from Thailand confirms our strategy to expand in the region of the future, Asia. We are further growing our strong automotive sector market share in this growth region on the basis of our technology leadership."

Kuka earlier this month announced a "mid double digit" million euro order for a complete body in white system for "an international carmaker" factory in Brazil. A first tranche of about 50% of the total order volume was booked in the second quarter of 2010.

The automated line planned for Brazil will enable the unnamed carmaker to produce several different variants of its planned vehicle range. The flexible line will manufacture underbodies, body sides, framing and closures.