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Ford moving electric SUV production to Mexico

07 December 2017

Ford will build its next generation all-electric auto in Mexico, rather than at the plant in MI where it promised to build it. "It's not like they're not putting money into the U.S".

Ford Motor Company says it will shift future production of a forthcoming electric vehicle to Mexico instead of building it at the Flat Rock Assembly plant in MI as it had planned.

Mark Fields, Ford's CEO at the time, referred to the plans for the MI plant as a "vote of confidence" in the Trump administration.

Ford is changing gears again in Mexico, shifting planned production of a small electric-powered sport utility vehicle to a plant south of the border instead of a MI factory.

In fact it now expects to have 850 jobs there, rather than 700.

Ford's chief executive officer, Jim Hackett, has been accelerating the automaker's moves in electric and autonomous cars, while announcing $14 billion in cost cuts to improve the what he calls the company's "fitness".

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The Flat Rock, Mich. factory had been designated for production of an unidentified electric vehicle. That's compared to a $700-million investment and 700 additional jobs that had been planned before.

Earlier this year Ford confirmed plans to introduce a fully electric SUV in 2020.

"We have excess capacity at that plant", said Ford spokeswoman Kelli Felker.

Moving electric auto production to Mexico could lower the cost of the making the cars, which have been money losers for every automaker so far. So now we're back to making cars in Mexico? According to Alan Hall, a spokesman for Ford, the revised plan will allow it to build more self-driving cars, and it will also increase the number of jobs at the Flat Rock plant. It won't shut down any US production.

Sending the electric vehicle to Mexico, where labor costs are lower, will help the business case for the costly model. In a blog post by executive vice president Jim Farley, Ford revealed plans to make its new AV commercial grade. The automakers met with Vice President Mike Pence recently to express concerns about moving away from NAFTA.

Ford moving electric SUV production to Mexico