Ford invests in Brazil

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Motor company Ford said it plans to invest $200m in Brazil over the next five years to develop a new Ford EcoSport small SUV for the global market.

Ford president and CEO Alan Mulally announced the investment during a meeting with Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. The additional investment means Ford's operations in Brazil will get a total of $2. 4bn between 2011 and 2015, Mulally said. EcoSport is already a top–selling vehicle in Brazil. The new EcoSport will be developed in Brazil off of a small vehicle platform engineered in Europe. It will mark the first time a Brazilian engineered vehicle will be produced in other countries worldwide. By 2014, this vehicle platform will deliver up to 1. 6m global vehicles annually, including up to five separate vehicle lines and eight top hats. "Developing truly global vehicles and platforms is a key part of our ONE Ford plan, " Mulally said. "Ford Brazil already has demonstrated its skill in creating great vehicles, and with such a strong team in place at our engineering center in Camaçari, we're pleased that customers around the world will benefit from that. Ultimately, our goal is to offer customers in every part of the world a full family of exciting Ford vehicles–small, medium and large cars; utilities and trucks–with best–in–class safety, quality, fuel efficiency, smart design and value, " he added. The investment marks the largest single amount Ford has invested in its Brazilian operations during a five–year window in its 90–year history in the country. This increased amount also takes Ford's investment in South America to $3bn through 2015.

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