Ford CEO: Two new Mexican facilities will start operations this year
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Ford Motors Mexico president Gabriel M. Lopez confirmed the company has invested US$ 2.5 billion in two production sites scheduled to start operations by the end of year.
“Ford is not leaving Mexico. As a proof, two plants will open this year, an engine facility in Chihuahua and a transmission site in Irapuato,” said Lopez during a press conference.
The official said both projects will create more than 3,000 jobs.
The automaker announced in 2015 it would invest US$ 2.5 billion for two new engine and transmission plants and an expansion of a diesel engine line that will create about 3,800 jobs.
Ford spent US$ 1.1 billion to build an engine facility within its Chihuahua Engine Plant, to produce a new gasoline-powered engine, creating 1,300 jobs. The company will export the engines to the U.S., Canada, South America and the Asia Pacific region.
In addition, Ford spent US$ 1.2 billion to build a transmission plant within the premises of a facility used by transmission supplier and partner Getrag, which is based in the city of Irapuato in the state of Guanajuato.
The project will create 2,000 jobs. The new transmission plant —Ford’s first transmission facility in Mexico— will produce two all-new automatic transmissions for key products primarily in South America, Europe and Asia Pacific as well as other North American markets.
The automaker also spent US$ 200 million to expand its I-4 and diesel engines production in Chihuahua, creating 500 more jobs.
Lopez made clear the company’s decision to cancel the San Luis Potosí factory, a US $1.6-billion investment, was as a result of changes in consumer preferences in the U.S., who are buying larger vehicles such as pickup trucks and SUVs. The new factory was to have built smaller cars, such as the Focus, which instead will be built at its Hermosillo, Sonora plant.
“The decision was the correct one for shareholders, and not a response to political concerns,” López said, in reference to U.S. President Donald Trump’s stand on keeping automotive production at home.