Ford to shift production for Focus to China

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In addition to the move, the company has also announced a US$900 million (RM3.8 billion) investment into upgrades for its Kentucky Truck Plant, which is set to build the Ford Expedition and the Lincoln Navigator. The automaker says this latest investment in Kentucky will help improve the company's "operational fitness" while building vehicles that "excite customers around the world".

Ford said then it would produce the Focus at its plant in Hermosillo.

The Kentucky investment secures 1,000 jobs for hourly workers at the Louisville plant.

The good news for MI workers is Ford doesn't see any jobs being lost. Lower labor costs were ultimately the deciding factor, as Joe Hinrichs, Ford's head of global operations, stated that Ford would save as much as $1 billion in the decision to outsource jobs to China. Photo: Sam VarnHagen for Ford Motor Company.

No U.S. hourly employees will be out of a job tied to the new manufacturing plan.

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Ford said it plans to start production of the next-generation Focus in China in 2019. A company spokesperson tells us that the third-generation Focus is now produced at three global locations: Michigan Assembly Plant, Saarlouis Body & Assembly, and Changan Ford Automobile Assembly Plants 1 and 2. At that time, Michigan Assembly will switch over to Ranger and Bronco production.

Ford was slammed by President Trump repeatedly over the proposed Mexico move and the administration raised the possibly of punitive tariffs for carmakers who located south of the border.

Several months after scrapping plans to shift production of the next-generation Ford Focus to Mexico, the company now says it will built the compact auto in China instead. By saving a billion dollars, the United States company has more to spend on growing in other areas, with "sport utilities, commercial vehicles, performance vehicles as well as mobility, autonomous vehicles and electrified vehicles" highlighted as areas of focus by Joe Hinrichs, executive vice president and president of global operations of Ford.

Carl Anthony is Managing Editor of Automoblog and resides in Detroit, Michigan.

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