The first redesigned Ford Mondeo rolled off a production line at Ford Genk on Tuesday (27 March).

An investment of EUR715m was made at Genk to support the Mondeo and two new MPV/minivan models launchd in the past year – the Galaxy and S-Max. Once production is at maximum capacity, almost 1,200 vehicles will be built there each day, with 98% exported to about 60 countries.

Noted John Fleming, Ford of Europe’s president and CEO: “Following the introduction of a new, flexible production system over the past year, Ford Genk has made gains in its efficiency and quality, and it remains the cornerstone of the production of Ford’s large car line-up.”

From today as many as five different body styles will roll off the same production line at Genk – and in any order. The styles are S-Max, Galaxy, Mondeo four-door, five-door and wagon (estate). Genk is the only Ford plant to produce all these models.

Since Genk opened in 1964, more than 12.6m vehicles have been built there. It is one of the most modern vehicle assembly factories in Europe, and together with the Volvo production plant at Gent it accounts for more than half the total production, employment and export of Belgium’s automotive sector. The plant has 5,800 employees.

The sales launch across Europe of the new Mondeo is planned for the first half of June 2007.

The start of new Mondeo production is the second ‘Job One’ ceremony for Ford of Europe this week. On 26 March, the automaker began building the updated C-Max (a smaller MPV/minivan than the S-Max) in Saarlouis, Germany.