If US President Donald Trump and his administration are at all frustrated by Ford Motor Company’s decision to relocate production of the US-market Ford Focus to China rather than Mexico as originally planned, they’re doing a good job at concealing it. Where Trump as a candidate blasted the automaker for its announced plans to erect a new small-car production facility in San Luis Potosi, Mexico, threatening to slap the company with a 35-percent tariff on each vehicle and part brought over the US border with Mexico, as president, he hasn’t waged any such war with words over Ford’s most recent production announcement.
“The Ford decision shows how flexible multinational companies are in terms of geography,” said Trump’s Secretary of Commerce, Wilbur Ross, in response to the shift. “I believe that as President Trump’s policies and reforms take hold, more companies will begin to locate their facilities in the US as several German and Japanese automakers already have.”
At the time that Ford made public its decision to build the US-market Ford Focus in China rather than Mexico, the automaker also announced nearly $1 billion in investments for its Kentucky Truck Plant to build the next-generation Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator, perhaps softening the blow some. Not that the Focus would have been produced in the US, anyway; after Ford canceled its plans to erect a new plant in San Luis Potosi, the next-generation compact car was expected to be produced at an existing Ford facility in Hermosillo, Mexico.
President Trump himself hasn’t yet commented on Ford’s announcement, although he’s decidedly softer on China since taking office, no longer leveling accusations of currency manipulation or intellectual-property theft against the country.
(Source: Detroit Free Press)