Ford Motor Co. (F) announced Tuesday it is cancelling plans for a $1.6 billion factory in Mexico and will instead invest $700 million in a Michigan factory that will create 700 new U.S. jobs.
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The decision comes after President-elect Donald Trump criticized the second largest U.S. automaker for its Mexican investment plans.
In an interview on the FOX Business Network’s Cavuto: Coast-to-Coast, Ford CEO Mark Fields said the company’s decision to cancel the Mexican plant is a result of a decrease in demand for small cars in the U.S.
“We are doing this decision based on what’s right for our business. As we think about the investments here in Michigan, as you can imagine Neil, we look at a lot factors as we make those. One of the factors that we are looking at is a more positive U.S. manufacturing business environment under President-elect Trump and some of the pro-growth policies that he said he is going to pursue,” Fields said.
Fields said the President-elect was notified of the announcement early Tuesday and was very pleased to hear Ford was making an investment in the United States.
Instead of driving jobs and wealth away, AMERICA will become the world's great magnet for INNOVATION & JOB CREATION.https://t.co/siXrptsOrt— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 3, 2017
Ford will invest $700 million to build new electric, hybrid and autonomous vehicles at a plant in Flat Rock, Michigan.
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Mr. Fields said he would have “absolutely” shut down plans to build the $1.6 billion plant in Mexico even if Donald Trump had not been elected president.
“Again the cancellation of the plant in Mexico was just really looking at capacity requirements and the investments here in Michigan are around building our high-tech products here and making Flat Rock one of our most advanced manufacturing facilities that we will have going forward,” Fields told host Neil Cavuto.
Trump has also criticized Ford’s rival General Motors (GM) for building Chevrolet Cruze compact cars in Mexico. Fields said he can only speak on Ford’s business and will engage proactively with the Trump administration.
“We are the largest producer of vehicles here in the United States than any other automaker. We’re the largest employer of hourly workers and about 80% of our sales here in the U.S. comes from vehicles that are produced here in the U.S.,” he said.
When asked if Ford’s decision was as a result of any quid pro quo from Trump, Fields said, “There was no quid pro quo because there was no negotiation on this. We did these actions because it was right for our business.”