Ford asks Trump to lower emissions targets

In a recent interview with Bloomberg, Ford’s CEO Mark Fields said the company is willing to work with Trump to keep jobs in the U.S. if his administration pursues certain policies the carmaker wants to see.

Those policies include friendly environmental rules, as well as currency-manipulation rules, “tax reform,” and clarified safety regulations for self-driving cars.

Now the company has announced it has already begun talks with President-elect Donald Trump that include a request for lower emissions targets.

Fields said there is no market for electrified cars, including hybrids, plug-in hybrids and electric cars. Its highest-volume and most profitable vehicle is the Ford F-Series line of full-size and even larger Super Duty pickup trucks.

In the U.S., Ford currently offers hybrid and plug-in hybrid version of the Fusion mid-size sedan and a hybrid version of the Lincoln MKZ luxury sedan, both built in Hermosillo, Mexico. 

The automaker also sells a plug-in hybrid version of the C-Max tall hatchback and the all-electric Focus Electric, but only as a low-volume compliance car in certain markets deemed sufficiently friendly to electric cars.

Ford has done relatively little to promote the Focus Electric, and until the 2017 model year, it had the lowest range (73 miles) of any compact electric model on the market.

During his campaign, Trump criticized Ford for moving some of its car production to Mexico.

Ford still plans to shift production of the Focus and C-Max from one of its Michigan plants to a new Mexican plant in 2019. A new electric car, possibly called Model E, based on the Focus platform may also be built there.

Ford has said it will not close the Michigan plant or cut employment there, and reports have indicated it may build pickup trucks and SUVs at the plant instead.

After the election, Trump phoned Ford chairman Bill Ford to discuss reported plans to move production of the Lincoln MKC crossover from Louisville, Kentucky, to Mexico.

Trump influenced a decision to keep MKC production in Kentucky, Fields said, noting that certain policies the president-elect discussed were enticing to Ford.

Even if Ford had stuck with plans to move MKC production to Mexico, the Louisville plant would have continued building the related Ford Escape, which outsells the Lincoln by a margin of 12 to 1, according to Bloomberg.

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