New Ford’s Mexican plant, still in the works
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Ford still plans to spend US$ 1.6 billion building a new factory in Mexico, after all the turmoil created because of an announcement by president-elect Donald Trump, about the auto maker deciding not to shift production South of the border, revealed The Wall Street Journal.
Trump tweeted Thursday that a Kentucky Ford Motor Co. assembly plant would not be moving to Mexico, but the company released a statement clarifying that the messages were referencing the production of a specific vehicle.
In two tweets sent out around 9 p.m. Thursday night, Trump said that Ford Motor chairman Bill Ford had told him the company would not be moving one of its Kentucky plants to Mexico.
Just got a call from my friend Bill Ford, Chairman of Ford, who advised me that he will be keeping the Lincoln plant in Kentucky - no Mexico— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 18, 2016
Ford, which makes the Ford Escape compact SUV and the MKC in Louisville, said last year it planned to move MKC production to another plant so it could increase production of the Escape, the Detroit Free Press reported. The automaker said at the time that no jobs would be lost in Louisville because of plans to boost Escape production.
Trump doubled down on his claim in a second tweet 15 minutes later:
I worked hard with Bill Ford to keep the Lincoln plant in Kentucky. I owed it to the great State of Kentucky for their confidence in me!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 18, 2016
Ford sent out an official statement later clarifying Trump's statement, saying that the tweets were in reference to continuing production of a specific Lincoln vehicle in Kentucky, not an entire assembly plant.
Ford isn’t backing away from its bigger Mexico plan, it is just tweaking it. Ford still plans to build a US$ 1.6 billion factory in Mexico that will serve as the home of Ford Focus production. That small car is currently built in Michigan, but is a money-loser given the high cost of UAW union employees and the low appetite that Americans have for the Focus.
Ford has argued that this move won’t cost American jobs because the company plans to use the capacity at the Michigan plant to build new trucks and SUVs that are more profitable and in higher demand than the Focus.