The vehicle to be built in Michigan is said to be an entirely new model for Ford, a hybrid-electric autonomous vehicle. The shift is intended to free up some capacity at Flat Rock to enable Ford to build its first fully-autonomous vehicle there.
Ford (NYSE:F) plans to produce a future electric car in Mexico rather than in the U.S., reversing its January announcement that the Flat Rock, Mich., assembly plant would serve as its main electric vehicle production site, WSJ reports.
Mark Fields, Ford's CEO at the time, referred to the plans for the Michigan plant as a "vote of confidence" in the Trump administration. It remains to be seen how President Trump will react to the news this time around. That's compared to a $700-million investment and 700 additional jobs that had been planned before. "It wasn't too long ago Ford canceled plans to build a plant in Mexico". Ford currently builds the Fiesta there, which isn't very popular.
Ford is also trying to play catch-up on electric cars.
The exception is General Motors, which is assembling its all-electric Chevrolet Bolt, including self-driving units, at its Orion Township plant in Oakland County and splits production of the Chevrolet Cruze compact between Mexico and Lordstown, Ohio. So now we're back to making cars in Mexico? In preparation for building its first autonomous vehicle, Ford reportedly plans to invest $200 million in the factory, as well as the $700 million it previously announced. It won't shut down any U.S. production. The program is usually used to reward those who find system vulnerabilities, and experts told Reuters that rewarding a thief was extremely unusual. The automakers met with Vice President Mike Pence recently to express concerns about moving away from NAFTA.
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