KANSAS CITY, MO – Ford Motor Company employees at Kansas City Assembly Plant recently celebrated the production of the new 2009 Ford F-150.

"Ford's quality is on par with the best in the industry and the team at Kansas City Assembly Plant is delivering a truck that is 'Built Ford Tough' with an unrelenting focus on quality and craftsmanship," said Ford Motor Company Group Vice President of Global Manufacturing and Labor Affairs Joe Hinrichs, who thanked plant employees for a successful launch of the new F-150.

On sale later this month, the new F-150 offers fuel economy that has improved an average of eight percent across the entire lineup as a result of a wide-range of engineering enhancements. The fuel economy gains reach as high as 12 percent versus the prior model year on F-150 models equipped with the high-volume 3-valve, 5.4L V-8 engine. At the same time, the new F-150 delivers class-leading towing capability of 11,300 lbs. and hauling capacity of 3,030 lbs.

The new F-150, part of Ford's F-Series lineup that remains the best-selling vehicle on the market, also offers more standard safety equipment than any other half-ton pickup on the market, with comparable or better pricing at all three cab configurations versus the competition. The F-150 Lariat SuperCrew, for example, starts at $35,820.

Ford invested $110 million in Kansas City Assembly Plant for new tooling and equipment to build the new F-150, which offers consumers the most cab styles, box options, and trim levels. Upgrades include the addition of 24 new clearcoat robots for flexible automation in the paint shop. In final assembly, the box line was extended to support installation of the F-150 cargo management system and the tailgate step. The plant also added 65 new error-proofing devices to ensure quality is built into every new F-150.

In the body shop, state-of-the-art, precision lasers were installed to mate the roof and body-side panels to the truck's new roof structure, which features the industry's first use of super high-strength, dual-phase steel. The stiffer, tighter structure contributes to improved safety and delivers a quieter more refined ride.

Even before production of the 2009 F-150 began, prototypes of the new truck endured 4.5 million miles of real-world and laboratory testing and quality checks where genuine truck customers use their pickups. And while the truck was undergoing tough testing, Kansas City employees were focused on ways to build in quality into each new F-150.  

Originally posted on Automotive Fleet