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February 19, 2003
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All-New Ford Freestar Minivan To Be Produced At Oakville Assembly Plant

Photo: Ford

TORONTO, ON - The 2004 Ford Freestar minivan, unveiled at the Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto, will deliver the best driving dynamics, most versatility, comfort and highest levels of safety and quality of any Ford minivan ever. The Freestar and the Mercury Monterey, which debuted on February 12 in Chicago, will be built by Ford of Canada's Oakville (Ontario) Assembly Plant. Both minivans go on sale in the fall.

"Freestar is a very important product for Ford of Canada and shows our commitment to Canada as a great place to do business," said Alain Batty, Ford Motor Company of Canada president and CEO. "That's why we invested $600 million in the Oakville Assembly Plant for the production of Freestar," Batty added.


Ford of Canada's Essex Engine Plant in Windsor will supply V-6 engines for the all-new Ford Freestar and Mercury Monterey minivans.

The 2004 Freestar will include major new features like:

  • An available segment-exclusive Safety Canopy™ side curtain air bag system offers protection in side impact collisions and rollovers for all three rows of seating

  • Improved access to the third row seat, which can fold flat into the floor without having to remove the head restraints

  • An elegant new cabin and instrument panel design that reflects Ford Motor Company's major across-the-board investment for vastly improved interior quality

  • The largest engine in a minivan - the new 4.2-liter V-6, standard on all Canadian models - offering best-in-class torque for improved passing and towing performance

  • A new power liftgate, which will be available later in the model year

  • Latest generation Ford four-speed automatic transmission with fast-acting hydraulics for seamless shift quality and improved downshift response

  • New, larger four-wheel disc brakes with a new "Panic Brake Assist" system as standard on models equipped with Ford's AdvanceTrac™ stability enhancement system

The Freestar is based on the only minivan to receive the U.S. government's highest frontal crash test rating for seven years straight. Even with this record, Freestar engineers redesigned the front structure to make the new vehicle among the best in offset crash performance.

There is storage everywhere in the Freestar -- on top of the instrument panel, in the centre below the sound system, a larger glove box, large two tier compartments in each front door, a driver side kangaroo pouch, second-row storage behind the front seats, third-row storage compartments on both sides and nine cupholders.

(February 13, 2003)

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