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TETERBORO, N.J. (AP) _ Ford Motor Co. will close its local parts distribution center here in 2004 and replace it with three smaller centers along the East Coast.

Ford has not selected sites for the three new centers, but confirmed Friday that one facility will be built in the New York metropolitan area. The Teterboro center employs about 400 people, and Ford said those workers will be transferred to the new facilities.

The change is part of Ford's plan to replace its eight parts-distribution centers nationwide with 21 smaller, more modern facilities, said Kent O'Hara, the automaker's North American planning manager.

``The new centers will cut delivery time to dealers because we're moving from weekly orders to daily orders,'' Joe Kory, Ford's network planning manager, said Friday.

Ford recently sold the 606,000-square-foot building in Teterboro for $32 million to AMB Property Corp., a San Francisco-based real estate investment trust that specializes in industrial property. The automaker will lease the property until the new centers are built.