Ford says it won’t make hatch­back in US

The Myanmar Times - - International Business -

FORD won’t be mov­ing pro­duc­tion of a hatch­back wagon to the United States from China — de­spite Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s claim Sun­day that his taxes on Chi­nese im­ports mean the Fo­cus Ac­tive can be built in Amer­ica.

Cit­ing Trump’s new tar­iffs, Ford on Aug. 31 said it was drop­ping plans to ship the Fo­cus Ac­tive from China to Amer­ica. Trump took to Twit­ter Sun­day to de­clare vic­tory and write: “This is just the be­gin­ning. This car can now be BUILT IN THE USA and Ford will pay no tar­iffs!”

But in a state­ment Sun­day, Ford said “it would not be prof­itable to build the Fo­cus Ac­tive in the U.S.” given fore­cast yearly sales be­low 50,000.

For now, that means Ford sim­ply won’t sell the ve­hi­cle in the United States. Kristin Dz­iczek of the Cen­ter for Au­to­mo­tive Re­search said that Ford can make Fo­cuses “in many other plants around the world, so if they de­cided to con­tinue to sell a Fo­cus vari­ant in the U.S. mar­ket, there are sev­eral op­tions other than build­ing it in the United States.”

In April, Ford an­nounced plans to stop mak­ing cars in the United States — ex­cept for the iconic Mus­tang — and to fo­cus on more prof­itable SUVs. It stopped mak­ing Fo­cus sedans at a Wayne, Michi­gan, plant in May. The plan, said in­dus­try an­a­lyst Ed Kim of Au­toPa­cific, was to pare down the Fo­cus lineup to Ac­tive wag­ons and im­port them from China. “With­out the tar­iffs, the busi­ness case was pretty solid for that model in the US mar­ket,” Kim said.

The tar­iffs changed every­thing. The United States on July 6 be­gan im­pos­ing a 25 per­cent tax on $34 bil­lion in Chi­nese im­ports, in­clud­ing mo­tor ve­hi­cles. Last month, it added tar­iffs to an­other $16 bil­lion in Chi­nese goods and is ready­ing taxes on an­other $200 bil­lion worth. China is re­tal­i­at­ing with its own tar­iffs on US prod­ucts.

The world’s two biggest economies are clash­ing over U.S. al­le­ga­tions that China de­ploys preda­tory tac­tics — in­clud­ing out­right cy­bertheft — to ac­quire tech­nol­ogy from U.S. com­pa­nies and chal­lenge Amer­i­can tech­no­log­i­cal dom­i­nance.

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