Redirecting electric vehicle production to Mexico is about more than cutting costs, Ford President of Global Markets Jim Farley tells WSJ, as the move will make room for the Flat Rock factory to serve as Ford's "center of excellence" for autonomous vehicles.
Ford (NYSE:F) plans to produce a future electric auto in Mexico rather than in the US, reversing its January announcement that the Flat Rock, Mich., assembly plant would serve as its main electric vehicle production site, WSJ reports. That vehicle will now be made at an existing Mexico facility. 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 vehicle factory in Mexico that the company ultimately canceled. "It's not like they're not putting money into the U.S". Mark Truby, the company's communications chief, said in an email to Bloomberg that Ford is investing an additional $200 million and adding 150 jobs as part of the plan.
GM unveiled plans last week to introduce its own on-demand ride-sharing service in several United States cities in 2019, using self-driving versions of the battery-powered Chevrolet Bolt. The driverless vehicle is to debut in 2021.
As of past year, Ford had meant to build the autonomous vehicle at its planned small-car plant in San Luis Potosi, Mexico, but that facility was canceled in January.
The move comes as Ford and other automakers place increasingly large bets on electrification and self-driving technology.
The net effect is hundreds of additional American jobs there, he said.
Trump did not tweet his displeasure this summer with Hackett's plan to build small cars in China to be exported to the US, nor has he blasted the automaker after news broke Wednesday of the electric SUV's shift to Mexico. So now we're back to making cars in Mexico? The company's software provides services useful to autonomous ride-hailing businesses, including networked data streams between vehicles and operators.
Earlier this year Ford confirmed plans to introduce a fully electric SUV in 2020.
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