The redesigned 2015 Ford Mustang is rolling off the line at Ford Motor Company’s Flat Rock Assembly Plant. This marks the production of the sixth-generation pony car which first appeared in showrooms in 1964. The Ford Mustang has been in continuous production ever since.
Flat Rock Assembly Transformed
In 2013, nine years after moving Mustang production there, Flat Rock Assembly Plant celebrated the one millionth Mustang built at the facility.
During the past year, the Flat Rock plant has been substantially updated. As part of a $555 million investment, Ford added a state-of-the-art, fully flexible body shop to allow multiple models to be produced on the same line, which supports Ford’s flexible manufacturing effort spearheaded by now-retired CEO Allan Mulally. Other technologies incorporated at the Flat Rock plant include a three-wet paint process, dirt detection and laser brazing.
According to Ford, The 3-Wet process allows three layers of paint to be applied one after another while still wet, with less manual intervention. Ford says this will produce a superior product with fewer pollutants and less expense.
Flat Rock history
Not long ago, the Flat Rock plant was rumored to be on the chopping block as Ford attempted to stem record losses 2006-2009. The plant’s fortunes have rebounded with the addition of Mustang production and rumors of a third product line being added. Flat Rock Assembly also builds the Ford Fusion. A second plant builds Fusions and the Lincoln MKZ in Mexico.
Ford says the Flat Rock Assembly Plant has been producing vehicles since 1987, when it opened as Mazda Motor Manufacturing USA and built the Mazda MX-6. The facility has approximately 3,000 employees working two shifts at full line speed.
Ford purchased a 50 percent share in the facility in 1992, and the plant was renamed AutoAlliance International. Over the years, the plant has produced Mazda 626, Mazda6, Mercury Cougar and Ford Probe. Mazda no longer has an interest in the Flat Rock plant.