A combination of flexible manufacturing plants, global vehicles and a weak US dollar could see Ford exporting US-made vehicles, chief executive Alan Mulally has said.

"It's all a business decision, and it's part of our plan to be flexible and be able to move up and down much easier, which allows us to support different markets," Mulally told US trade paper Automotive News.

He gave no more details but the paper cited sources saying a plan was forming to export the Kuga crossover from a US production site.

The model is currently assembled in Germany for sale in Europe but a next generation version will go into production in Louisville, Kentucky, late in 2011, to replace the current Escape crossover, and European-specification versions could be exported as well.

The US-made Escape, badged as the Maverick, was shipped to Europe for several years before the European unit developed the Kuga to replace it. For some Asian markets, Mazda built Ford versions alongside its own.

Ford is also expanding Fiesta production from the present Europe and China to Thailand and Mexico. Thai cars will eventually replace German units in some Asian markets while Ford of Europe CEO John Fleming last week said that if demand warrants, cars could be shipped from Mexico to Europe.

"The one virtue we've got with our One Ford strategy is - apart from anything which legally needs to be different - the products are the same," Fleming told Automotive News.

"So in any case, from anywhere, you could import and export products."

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