New Ford CEO defends cancellation of Mexican plant

Ford’s new CEO Jim Hackett said at a press conference he had nothing to do with the decision to cancel a US$ 1.6 billion auto plant the company was building in central Mexico.

As CEO of office furniture manufacturer Steelcase Inc., Hackett oversaw the opening of two plants in Mexico in 2011.

Now at the helm of Ford, the new CEO defended the cancellation made by the company last January. “We made that decision not for political reasons, but for business reasons, and those are still sound today,” he said at the Q&A session of the conference (minute 34 in the video).

Hackett added the company will keep investing in operations around the world. “We’re a global company. We want to own our strategies about where we play and how we win. We’ll be producing product all over the world. We have to do that. The supply chains are designed in interactive ways that you can’t undo,” he added.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Ford’s board executives blamed ousted CEO Mark Fields for putting the automaker on the political radar by announcing plans to move production on the Ford Focus from Michigan to San Luis Potosi last year. 

The fact that Ford got dragged into the political spotlight weighted heavily into the decision to fire Fields, said the WSJ.

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