Ford will right now build electric cars in Mexico

Ford will build its next era all-electric car in Mexico, rather than at the plant in Michigan where it promised to build it.

The automaker announced in January that it could invest $700 million and create 700 jobs at a plant in Flat Rock, Michigan to build EV’s, and that it could scrap plans for a fresh small car plant in Mexico.

The news headlines was celebrated by the incoming Trump administration, which claimed that it had convinced U.S. automakers to get jobs home.

Mark Fields, Ford’s CEO at the time, referred to the ideas for the Michigan plant as a “vote of assurance” in the Trump administration.

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The company says it’ll still go ahead with plans to get and create new jobs at Flat Rock, but that it’ll build self-driving cars there instead, rather than electric cars.

Actually it now expects to have 850 jobs there, rather than 700. And it possesses boosted the planned purchase in the Michigan plant to $900 million, rather than its $700 million goal.

The company, along with every other automaker, is producing a major push into self-driving car technology. That’s a single purpose it tapped Jim Hackett, who previously led Ford’s self-driving car effort, as CEO when Fields was forced out earlier this year.

The company will produce the electric cars at its existing Mexican plant in Cuautitlan starting in 2020, but that it won’t add any jobs there. Ford currently builds the Fiesta there, which isn’t very popular.

“We have excess potential at that plant,” explained Ford spokeswoman Kelli Felker.

Ford can be trying to take up catch-up on electric cars. It has only 1 all-electric vehicle, in fact it is not competitive with either GM’s (Basic MOTORS) Chevy Bolt or the Tesla (TSLA) Unit 3, which each price about $35,000 and may go a lot more than 200 kilometers on a single charge.

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Moving electric car development to Mexico could lessen the price of the producing the cars, which were money losers for each and every automaker so considerably. But it also entails the risk that the Trump administration could place steep taxes on latest cars built-in Mexico as it seeks to renegotiate the NAFTA trade deal.

Ford can be moving ahead with ideas to build most of its small cars for the U.S marketplace at existing services in either Mexico or China, and to keep its U.S. plants building larger, additional rewarding vehicles. It won’t turn off any U.S. development. It scrapped ideas for a new small car plant in Mexico because demand for them is indeed weak, not to shift any manufacturing back to the U.S.

All the major automakers try to make some of their cars for the U.S. marketplace in Mexico, and all depend on Mexican parts suppliers for cars constructed at U.S. plants. The automakers achieved with Vice President Mike Pence just lately to express concerns about moving away from NAFTA.

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