Ford pulls pro­duc­tion from USA to make small cars in Mex­ico

Trump: ‘We shouldn’t al­low it to hap­pen’

- Greg Gard­ner and Brent Snavely Business · Cars · Consumer Goods · Latin America News · Automotive Industry · Industries · Ford Motor Company · Ford · United States of America · Mexico · Ford · Republican Party (United States) · Donald Trump · Michigan · Dearborn, Michigan · Flint · Thailand · Taiwan · Fiat Chrysler Automobiles · Chrysler · Fiat · Dodge Dart · Dodge Brothers Motor Vehicle Company · Illinois · General Motors Corporation · Mike Honda · Honda · Hyundai · Nissan Motor Company · Mazda Motor Corporation · Toyota Motor Corporation · Toyota · Volkswagen · Volkswagen · FIAT S.p.A. · Ohio State University · Ann Arbor · Mark Fields · Dearborn · Belvidere, IL · Chrysler 200 · Sterling Heights

Ford Mo­tor said Wed­nes­day that it will shift all of its U.S. small car pro­duc­tion to Mex­ico, a de­vel­op­ment that drew fresh crit­i­cism from Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial nom­i­nee Don­ald Trump.

Ford’s dec­la­ra­tion came as CEO Mark Fields sought to ap­peal to in­vestors.

“Over the next two to three years, we will have mi­grated all of our small car pro­duc­tion to Mex­ico and out of the United States,” CEO Mark Fields told a meet­ing in Dear­born, Mich., where the com­pany is based.

The de­vel­op­ment played per­fectly for Trump, who was cam­paign­ing in Michi­gan, the tra­di­tional home to the na­tion’s auto in­dus­try. In April, he blasted Ford’s plans to move pro­duc­tion to Mex­ico as an “ab­so­lute dis­grace.”

Wed­nes­day, he picked up the beat again as he vis­ited Flint, which has been hard hit by the loss of au­toworker jobs.

“We shouldn’t al­low it to hap­pen. They’ll make their cars, they’ll em­ploy thou­sands of peo­ple not from this coun­try, and they’ll sell their car across the bor­der,” Trump said. “When we send our jobs out of Michi­gan, we’re also send­ing our tax base.”

In Michi­gan, Ford’s an­nounce­ment didn’t come as a great sur­prise.

Ford said it con­tin­ues to in­vest heav­ily in its U.S. plants and isn’t cut­ting jobs here. Last fall, the au­tomaker com­mit­ted to in­vest $9 bil­lion in U.S. plants, about half of which would go to 11 fa­cil­i­ties in Michi­gan. The deal cre­ated or re-

tained more than 8,500 jobs as part of a new four-year con­tract with the United Auto Work­ers union.

Still, UAW Pres­i­dent Dennis Wil­liams has blasted Ford and other au­tomak­ers for in­vest­ing so much money in Mex­ico. “There is no rea­son, math­e­mat­i­cally, to go ahead and run to coun­tries like Mex­ico, Thai­land and Tai­wan,” Wil­liams said this year. “We all rec­og­nize there is a huge prob­lem in Mex­ico. So we have to ad­dress it as a na­tion. The UAW can­not do it alone.”

Av­er­age au­toworker wages in Mex­ico are set at a frac­tion of their U.S. coun­ter­parts. Mex­ico al­lows au­tomak­ers to re­duce their costs enough that they can still make a profit on smaller cars sold in the USA.

Ford isn’t alone. Fiat Chrysler Au­to­mo­biles said this year it will end pro­duc­tion of all cars in the USA by the end of this year as it dis­con­tin­ues pro­duc­tion of the Dodge Dart in Belvidere, Ill., and the Chrysler 200 in Ster­ling Heights, Mich.

In re­cent years, Gen­eral Mo­tors, Honda, Hyundai, Nis­san, Mazda, Toy­ota and Volk­swa­gen have all an­nounced plans to ei­ther ex­pand plants or build ones in Mex­ico. Fiat Chrysler Au­to­mo­biles has said it is con­sid­er­ing an ex­pan­sion of its pro­duc­tion there.

Mex­ico has seen a 40% in­crease in auto jobs since 2008 to 675,000 last year while the USA saw a 15% in­crease in the same pe­riod to more than 900,000, ac­cord­ing to the Cen­ter for Au­to­mo­tive Re­search in Ann Ar­bor.

 ?? SAUL LOEB, AFP/GETTY IMAGES ?? Ford Fo­cus com­pacts are lined up at an as­sem­bly plant in Wayne, Mich.
SAUL LOEB, AFP/GETTY IMAGES Ford Fo­cus com­pacts are lined up at an as­sem­bly plant in Wayne, Mich.

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