VIDEO: Low small vehicle sales, main reason to cancel Mexican plant: Ford CEO
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It was market conditions, especially low small vehicle sales, not pressure from US President-elect Donald Trump, behind Ford Motor’s decision not to build a new production facility in Mexico, the automaker CEO Mark Fields revealed to Bloomberg.
"We’ve seen small cars markedly decline, and it became very clear that we don’t need this plant and we can use an existing facility in Mexico," Fields said in an interview.
Earlier, Ford announced it would invest US$ 700 million and add 700 jobs at its Flat Rock, Michigan plant over the next four years.
Instead of creating a new plant in Mexico to build its Ford Focus automobile, the company will move production of those vehicles to an existing facility in Mexico.
The Ford CEO stressed, however, that none of the 3,600 jobs will be affected at the Michigan plant where the Ford Focus is currently produced.
The company’s new plans are part of a US$ 4.5 billion investment in electrified vehicles by 2020.
“As more and more consumers around the world become interested in electrified vehicles, Ford is committed to being a leader in providing consumers with a broad range of electrified vehicles, services and solutions that make people’s lives better,” said Ford President and CEO Mark Fields.
“Our investments and expanding lineup reflect our view that global offerings of electrified vehicles will exceed gasoline-powered vehicles within the next 15 years.”
The automaker will begin testing its electric vehicles, including the Transit Custom plug-in hybrid, in Europe this year. Ford is also testing a fleet of 20 Transit Connect hybrid taxi and van prototypes in New York and other major U.S. cities.
Fields noted he informed Trump as well as Vice President-elect Mike Pence of the decision.