Ford Motors expects automobile production to increase in 2010Ford Motors expects global automobile production to increase 5 to 10 percent over 2009 levels this year - not the largest gain, perhaps, but a beacon of hope in an economy still struggling to pull itself from the recession.

In 2009, automobile production was down 13 percent from the previous year. Automakers produced approximately 60 million vehicles, down from a peak of 72 million in 2007, reports the Associated Press.

"The business environment is challenging but we do expect global growth to continue going forward," Ford Americas president Mark Fields said earlier this week at the Credit Suisse Automotive and Transportation Conference in New York.

Ford also stated that its structural costs could rise by as much as $1 billion this year, due to increased marketing for the new Ford Focus and Ford Explorer models, as well as product development. Fields added that the company has used plant closures, employee buyouts and layouts to cut out $10 billion in structural costs since the end of 2005.

The automaker also recently announced its decision to expand its supply chain in India and China to capitalize on a still-strong Asian market for cars. In India, Ford has invested $500 million this year to double production capacity. In addition, the company is building two new vehicle plants in China - one in Chongqing, with its joint venture Changan Ford Mazda Automotive, and one in Nanchang with Jiangling Motors.
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