Ford Focus, once slated to be made in Mexico, won’t make it to the US market
Ford Motor Co. will not sell its new China-built Focus crossover in the U.S. market due to tariffs imposed on Chinese imports by President Donald Trump, today announced Kumar Galhotra, Ford’s president of North America, U.S. media reports.
The vehicle, previously slated to be made in San Luis Potosi, Mexico, was schedule to arrive in the United States by late 2019. “Given the negative financial impact of the new tariffs, we’ve decided not to import this vehicle from China,” said Galhotra during a conference call.
Ford had projected to sell fewer than 50,000 Focus Active crossover vehicles annually in the United States. “The impact to our future sales is expected to be marginal,” Galhotra told reporters. “Our viewpoint is that, given the tariffs, our costs would be substantially higher. Our resources could be better deployed at this stage.”
In January 2017, Ford announced the cancellation of a plant in San Luis Potosi, central Mexico, where it would build the next-gen Focus, and that instead would open a production line at its plant in Hermosillo, Sonora, arguing that this measure would represent savings of US$ 500 million.
Mark Fields, Ford CEO at the time, also said that the trend of American consumers to buy light trucks instead of passenger cars, did not justify the investment of a new plant.
However, six months later, Ford announced new changes in its manufacturing strategy that would imply moving the production of the Focus to China, increasing the savings to US$ 1 billion.
By cancelling Focus imports Ford affects its own plans to transition from sedans to crossovers by eliminating the Taurus, Fiesta, Fusion, C-Max and the outgoing generation of Focus which is a passenger car. The next-gen Focus was expected to fill in the space left by those sedans.
Galhotra declined to comment on what Ford would offer consumers displaced by the coming lack of sedans in the lineup, but stressed that there will be options for the U.S. consumers.