Plans by Ford Motor Company to build the “Focus” small car in Mexico have been abandoned – but the jobs aren’t coming back to the United States – they’re going to China.
According to a Bloomberg report, Ford has announced it will save $1 billion by scrapping production of the Focus in North America completely, and intends to start importing the Focus from China by the second half of 2019.
The move will take place a year after production ends at a Michigan plant, which Ford expects will save about $500 million, with another $500 million saved by canceling the Mexico factory.
Bloomberg noted the decision is going to be a test of “both consumer appetite for China-built cars and the tolerance of President Donald Trump.”
Ford’s president of global operations, Joe Hinrichs, claimed that U.S. consumers don’t care where their products are built.
“We’ve done a lot of research and consumers care a lot more about the quality and the value than they do about the sourcing location. iPhones are produced in China, for example, and people don’t really talk about it,” Hinrichs told reporters Tuesday.
To offset the loss in the United States, Ford announced it will preserve 1,000 jobs in Kentucky by investing $900 million in it’s truck factory, to build sport utility vehicles.
The Michigan plant currently making the Focus will instead start building the Ranger pickup in late 2018, and the Bronco SUV in 2020.
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