Ford Motor Company today announced that it is canceling plans to build a new, $1.6 billion small-car plant in San Luis Potosi, Mexico. The plant, first announced in April of 2016, was expected to take over production of the Ford Focus and C-MAX models from the Michigan Assembly Plant in 2018, and start producing a new family of electrified vehicles dubbed the “Ford Model E.”
It seems likely that the words of president-elect Donald Trump, who has spoken out against NAFTA and routinely criticized Ford’s overseas production plans from the campaign trail, played a role in prompting Ford to adjust its strategy.
It appears as though Ford is instead pouring some of that money into US production, announcing today its intention to spend $700 million to expand its Flat Rock, Michigan plant, directly adding 700 jobs and enabling the plant to build autonomous and electric vehicles alongside the Ford Mustang and Lincoln Continental currently produced there.
“As more and more consumers around the world become interested in electrified vehicles, Ford is committed to being a leader in providing consumers with a broad range of electrified vehicles, services and solutions that make people’s lives better,” says Ford CEO Mark Fields. “Our investments and expanding lineup reflect our view that global offerings of electrified vehicles will exceed gasoline-powered vehicles within the next 15 years.”