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Ford plans 2014 as a growth year

  |   Dec. 13, 2013 at 1:47 PM
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DEARBORN, Mich., Dec. 13 (UPI) -- U.S. automaker Ford Motor Co. said Friday it was preparing for a growth spurt in 2014.

Ford said it would have three new plants up and running in 2014 and launch 23 vehicles, the most launches in one year in more than a century.

Sixteen of those launches would be in North American -- three times the number in the region this year.

Ford also said it would add 5,000 jobs in the United States in 2014, including 3,300 salaried positions.

Those jobs are in addition to 14,000 jobs the company has added in the past two years, the company said in a statement.

Ford is "on track" to open two plants in China and one in Brazil in 2014. One plant, the new Chongqing Assembly Plant will increase the company's production capacity in China by 300,000 units next year, Ford said.

Ford said there was development expected for under the hood, as well. The company planned to add two new fuel-efficient EcoBoost engines to its lineup, bringing the total to six. It also expected to have 70 percent of the North American line up to have added fuel efficiency technologies, such as the Auto Start-Stop feature.

"Next year, we are embarking on our most ambitious global launch year ever to meet customer demand for our products around the world," said Raj Nair, group vice president, Ford global product development.

Ford said it was aiming to build 6 million vehicles in 2014, equalling16 vehicles per minute around the world, the company said.

No. 1 in its line up is the Ford Focus, which is projected to reach 1.1 million in sales in 2013.

"The last time Ford was growing like this, Dwight D. Eisenhower was the U.S. president," said John Fleming, executive vice president Ford global manufacturing.

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