Ford moving electric SUV production to Mexico
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 Michigan factory.
Sending the electric vehicle to Mexico, where labour costs are lower, will help the business case for the costly model. It also risks raising the ire of President Donald Trump, who had been sharply critical of an earlier plan by Ford to build a small car factory in Mexico that the company ultimately cancelled.
“They have to do what’s best financially and this electric vehicle is not going to be huge” in terms of sales volume, said Michelle Krebs, an analyst with car-shopping website Autotrader.
“It’s not like they’re not putting money into the U.S.” Krebs said.
Moving production of the asyet-unnamed electric SUV to Mexico will allow the carmaker to boost planned output of self-driving vehicles at its factory in Flat Rock, Mich.
Ford is boosting its investment by $200 million and adding 150 more jobs to the Michigan plant as part of the shift, Mark Truby, the company’s communications chief, said in an email.
The driverless car is to debut in 2021.
The SUV to be built in Mexico starting in 2020 will go 480 kilometres on a single charge and is the centrepiece of a planned $4.5billion overhaul of Ford’s lineup to add 13 electric or hybrid models, including a gas-electric F-150.
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.”