Ford claims an investment of $4.9 million in new design technology will allow it to improve the quality of new models and get them to market quicker.
Called Powerwall, the new technology is installed at sites in Merkenich in Germany and at Essex in the UK.
Among Powerwall's capabilities are creating life-size static images for detailed reviews of new models and also full virtual animation shows.
'Ford customers will see the benefits of this new system as we bring more cars to market more quickly with higher 'designed-in' time quality. We are in the process of reducing our product development time from 42 months to 24 and the new Powerwall technology will play a key role in helping us achieve our goal,' said Ford of Europe vice-president, product development, Martin Leach.
Digital reviews should also allow Ford, it claims, to introduce higher quality levels at earlier stages in the design and product development process.
Ford added that the Powerwall at Merkenich already forms 'a critical part of Ford's computer-aided development process, C3P, which was used in the development of the Ford Mondeo, and the new Fiesta debuting at the Frankfurt International Motor Show'. (September 2001)