President-elect Trump isn't even in office yet, but his words are carrying a lot of weight especially for the auto industry.
The Ford Motor Company has cancelled plans to shift production of the Focus to Mexico after threats of higher tariffs from the incoming American president. For quite some time, the Ford Motor Company has insisted that they will continue their investment in the Hermosillo, Mexico plant, saying that they will be injecting $1.6 billion to the long-running factory.
Ford's CEO has made the announcement that they have reversed their decision regarding the Mexico plant and will instead invest $700 million in the Flat Rock assembly line in Michigan. At the moment, Flat Rock is the home of the Ford Mustang and the newly revived Lincoln Continental. This announcement was made during a press conference regarding further developments on hybrid and autonomous vehicles.
Mark Fields, CEO of the Ford Motor Company, said that the decision was done, “independently on what’s right for Ford,” and added, “but we look at all the factors”. Fields also said that the Flat Rock investment was a “vote of confidence” for Trump. “Our view, we see a more positive U.S. manufacturing business environment under President-elect Trump and the pro-growth policies and proposals he’s talking about,” said Fields.
Mexican officials expressed their disappointment in the reversal of the decision. The Mexican government has said that they will take steps to appropriate the money spent on the canceled project from Ford. As for the Flat Rock facility, the automaker announced that it will also become the hub for a hybrid crossover with autonomous driving capabilities. The expansion for the Flat Rock plant also sees an additional 700 jobs by 2018. The North Amerian-spec Ford Focus meanwhile will continue to be built in the Wayne, Michigan assembly plant.