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A Ford Fiesta for Mexico

Ford Motor Company plans to produce 80,000 to 90,000 Fiesta models this year at its new plant in Cuautitlan, outside Mexico City, Ford de Mexico Chief Executive Eduardo Serrano said Tuesday. The cars will then be exported to the U.S. and Canada. Ford feels positive about the renovations to the plant and also about the Fiesta. The car is a remodeled fuel-efficient subcompact and it has been successful in the markets it has hit. In Europe, the Fiesta is the number one selling vehicle.

Preparing the Cuautitlan plant for production of the new Fiesta model was the centerpiece of a $3 billion investment plan in Mexico that Ford announced in 2008. The plan's other components included a new engine-manufacturing plant in the northern state of Chihuahua and a new transmissions plant in the central state of Guanajuato. Full-on output at the plant will begin near the end of May. Mexico is expected to become the No. 3 country for Ford production, up from No. 5 currently, and a key change will be the Cuautitlan facility.

But North America, where consumers prefer larger cars and trucks, is somewhat uncharted territory.

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