"It wasn't too long ago Ford canceled plans to build a plant in Mexico".
The news was celebrated by the incoming Trump administration, which claimed that it had convinced US automakers to bring jobs home.
Earlier this year, we reported that Ford had chose to invest $700 million in its Flat Rock plant in MI to build an electric SUV with a 300-mile range.
Mark Fields, Ford's CEO at the time, referred to the plans for the MI plant as a "vote of confidence" in the Trump administration.
In fact it now expects to have 850 jobs there, rather than 700.
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Ford plans instead to convert the suburban Detroit factory into a manufacturing hub for future driverless vehicles, hiking its anticipated investment in the plant to $900M from $700M foreseen previously.
The SUV to be built in Mexico starting in 2020 will go 300 miles on a single charge and is the centerpiece of a planned $4.5 billion overhaul of Ford's lineup to add 13 electric or hybrid models, including a gas-electric F-150.
Ford Motor Co will begin testing its latest self-driving vehicle technology next year in at least one city but has not changed its plan to begin commercial production until 2021, the company said.
"We have excess capacity at that plant", said Ford spokeswoman Kelli Felker. It now seems as though the electric portion of that product onslaught will end up in Mexico all the same, at the automaker's existing Cuautitlan plant. 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 auto factory in Mexico that the company ultimately canceled. After replacing Mark Fields as CEO in May, one of Hackett's first moves was to shift a plan to make the Focus small auto in Mexico to one of the automaker's plants in China. According to Alan Hall, a spokesman for Ford, the revised plan will allow it to build more self-driving cars, and it will also increase the number of jobs at the Flat Rock plant.
Sending the electric vehicle to Mexico, where labor costs are lower, will help the business case for the costly model.