Ford will build the F-150 pickup truck from 2004 at the new Dearborn truck plant now under construction at the legendary Rouge Centre in Michigan.

“As the new flagship of Ford’s lean and flexible assembly plants, [the Dearborn truck plant] will have the capability of interchanging three vehicle architectures and producing up to nine different models, if needed,” said Anne Stevens, Ford vice president of North America vehicle operations.

The new assembly plant is the centrepiece of one of the largest industrial redevelopment projects in the US. For more than 85 years, Ford’s Rouge Centre was a key element of Henry Ford’s vision of vertical integration – a self-contained manufacturing complex, where most vehicle components were made from raw materials and assembled into a finished product.

The F-150 also will continue to be built at Norfolk and Kansas City assembly plants.

Construction of the new truck plant is scheduled to be completed by late 2003, with assembly operations beginning in 2004.

The F-Series has been the best-selling truck in America for 25 consecutive years and also the best-selling vehicle in the country for the past 20 years.