Home Business Ford Cancels Plans for 1.6BN Mexico Plant to Extend Michigan Operations

Ford Cancels Plans for 1.6BN Mexico Plant to Extend Michigan Operations

Ford Motors has announced it will cancel a $1.6 billion facility it planned to build in Mexico and instead extend operations at its factory in Michigan.

The company will spend $700 million on expanding the plant at Flat Rock.

The car giant said it needed to re-organize to use existing facilities more efficiently amid falling sales of its smaller cars.

Donald Trump has criticized both Ford and its rival General Motors over production of models in Mexico.

Earlier, the president-elect tweeted his disapproval of GM’s production of the Chevy Cruze in Mexico.

Ford CEO Mark Fields said the decision to cancel was in part related to the need to “fully utilize capacity at existing facilities” as sales of small and medium sized cars, such as the Focus and Fusion, fall – but he also said the decision was a vote of confidence in the business environment Donald Trump was creating.

However, the automaker is not abandoning production completely in Mexico, but is switching production of its Focus model to its existing plant in Hermosillo there to improve profitability.

Ford makes the current version at its plant in Wayne in Michigan. Production at that facility will switch to two new models, which it says will safeguard 3,500 US jobs.

The planned $1.6 billion facility in Mexico was to be built in San Luis Potosi, but Ford said it would now invest some of that sum in Flat Rock, creating 700 jobs building a range of electric cars.

On January 3, Donald Trump criticized GM on Twitter for making cars built in Mexico and made available tax-free in the US.

He tweeted: “General Motors is sending Mexican made model of Chevy Cruze to US car dealers-tax free across border. Make in U.S.A. or pay big border tax!”

However, General Motors said most of its Chevy Cruze cars were made in the US.

A spokesman said only the hatchback model, which forms a small percentage of sales, was made in Mexico.

He added that the car was built there for global production and said that although some Cruze sedans were made in Mexico for a while last year, all the ones now sold in the US were manufactured in Ohio.

Glenn Johnson, president of a union at the Lordstown factory in Ohio, said there had been no protest about the move of sedan production across the border.

Responding to Donald Trump’s tweet, he said: “It makes for news, that’s all.”

Donald Trump has criticized other US industry titans since his election win and has vowed to make good on campaign promises to bring jobs back to America by, as he puts it, leveling the playing field.

However, some commentators have expressed concern that restricting imports could damage the US economy.

In November, General Motors said it would lay off around 1,250 workers at Lordstown and around 800 at its plant in Michigan from the middle of January, although some may find work at other factories.

Clyde is a business graduate interested in writing about latest news in politics and business. He enjoys writing and is about to publish his first book. He’s a pet lover and likes to spend time with family. When the time allows he likes to go fishing waiting for the muse to come.