Ford to Focus production to China and export to the U.S.


Ford Motor Co. will soon be moving its Ford Focus production to China, the company has announced.

The move is set to happen on 2019. The current factory for Focus is in Michigan—until 2018, this is where the cars will continue to be made, but come 2018, Focus will be made in China.

Ford is making this move because of savings. The move to China will save the company $1 billion, which includes the scrapping of a new Mexico facility that was announced on early 2017.

In January 2017, the company canceled its plans to move production to a brand new, $1.6 billion plant in Mexico after a criticism made by U.S. President Donald Trump. The company added 700 jobs in Michigan instead.

According to Ford CEO Mark Fields, this was a “vote of confidence,” in Trump. He added that his company would have made the same decision even if he didn’t win.

The company said that it would invest $700 million to expand its Michigan factory, making new hybrid and electric vehicles.

The BBC reported that Ford’s sales went down almost 20% from 2016—it sold 67,150 cars in the U.S. in the first five months of this year.

“Finding a more cost-effective way to deliver the next Focus program in North America is a better plan, allowing us to redeploy the money we save into areas of growth for the company,” said Joe Hinrichs, an executive vice president at Ford.

Hinrichs was also quoted by Forbes as saying that the company has done its research and found that “consumers care a lot more about the quality and the value than they do about the sourcing location.” He cited iPhones as an example: “iPhones are produced in China, for example, and people don’t really talk about it.”

Ford said that this move will not result in layoffs in the United States. The Michigan plant, which will end Focus production by 2018, will be moving on to making trucks and SUVs.


Ofelia Sta. Maria

Ofelia is an experienced journalist covering the Chinese manufacturing sector for the English language market, sharing news and stories about the companies and people shaping the future of manufacturing in China.

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