A $C150 million ($US97.5 million) upgrade to Ford's St. Thomas assembly plant will raise paint quality and improve corrosion protection on Crown Victoria and Mercury Grand Marquis luxury sedans.

Strategic Review-


The upgrade already includes a state-of-the-art dip phosphate and electro-coat facility housed in a new 9,290 square metre (100,000 square feet) addition to the plant's paint shop.

By year's end, a new primer booth will complement the facility expansion to give the plant one of the most modern paint facilities in Canada.

The expanded facility will be used for the 2003 Mercury Marauder, a high performance sedan that goes into production in spring of 2002.

The new phosphate system is designed to completely immerse each car body, providing a uniform zinc phosphate coating to all metal surfaces.

The zinc phosphate layer provides the base for the successive paint coatings to adhere to and complements the next step, the electro-deposition primer.

The new "e-coat" system provides an extremely uniform coating of electro-coat primer.

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