COLOGNE -- Welcome to the Love Factory. Thats the name Ford of Europe has given to its factory in Cologne, Germany, after claiming workers were in love with the latest Fiesta to be built here.
The site, next to the Rhine River, was transformed with colorful paint as part of the marketing blitz for the small-segment car, which was launched in the middle of last year.
But beneath the fancy painting and marketing hype, a lot of work and money has gone into making Cologne one of the most efficient car factories in Europe.
It has to be -- to make a small car profitably in a high-cost country such as Germany, a factory has to be very cost effective.
Cologne is one of the most efficient factories in Europe, according to a confidential Harbour Report, which analyzes automotive factory efficiency for the industry only.
That report, published in the German magazine Capital, said it takes 12 hours to produce each Fiesta small car, second only to the 11.3 hours that it takes Nissan workers to produce the Micra minicar in Sunderland, England.