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Ford invests $900 million to upgrade Thailand factories

Ford Motor Co (F) said earlier this week it would invest as much as $900 million in upgrading its facilities in Thailand that assemble the Ranger pickup truck and the Everest SUV.

As part of the upgrade, the company will almost double the number of robots at its Thai manufacturing plant and at AutoAlliance Thailand, a venture with Mazda Motor Corp.

Additionally, as much as $400 million will be invested in Ford’s supply chain network.

The US auto maker also said it would add a second shift to one of the plants, which is expected to create 1,250 new jobs and to expand its workforce in Thailand to over 9,000.

Ford produces nearly 270,000 vehicles per year in the Asian country, 60% of which are exported to Asia-Pacific markets such as Australia, New Zealand and the Philippines.

Ford shares closed lower for the fifth time in the past ten trading sessions in New York on Wednesday. The stock went down 0.75% ($0.15) to $19.81, after touching an intraday high at $20.19. The latter has been a price level not seen since December 3rd ($20.40).

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