Ford Motor Co., moving to ease production constraints in North America, plans to shift output of the Fiesta subcompact from Mexico to Thailand in 2016, The Detroit News reported today.
Fiesta output at Ford’s plants in Cuautitlán, Mexico, and Chennai, India, will move to a factory in Thailand, the News said, citing people with knowledge of the matter.
Ford already builds the Fiesta in Rayong, Thailand. It is unclear whether the company will move production from Mexico and India to Rayong or elsewhere in Thailand.
Ford spokeswoman Kristina Adamski declined to discuss the company’s manufacturing plans. She told the News that Ford is always looking to “optimize our global manufacturing capability.”
Ford assembles the Fiesta at 10 sites worldwide, according to the company.
The News said Ford wants to free up production capacity in North America to build other nameplates.
Ford executives see Southeast Asia as an increasingly important manufacturing region, and have pointed to Thailand as a model of success, Bloomberg reported last week.
After Ford opened the Rayong plant in 2012, the company said in a statement: "Along with China and India, Thailand serves as one of the key global production and export hubs for Ford Motor Company."
According to Bloomberg, Ford’s factories in Thailand can produce eight times more vehicles than the company sells, and can export cars tax-free throughout Southeast Asia.
Production of the latest-generation Fiesta began in Mexico in May 2010 and in India in June 2011.
The Cuautitlán plant was converted beginning in 2008 from an F-series pickup plant to a car plant as part of a $3 billion investment in Ford’s Mexican operations.
Ford’s plans come as Honda Motor Co. and Mazda Motor Corp. are building plants in Mexico to build subcompacts for sale in North America.