Detroit, Michigan - Ford Motor plans to build a new electric vehicle in Mexico rather than in Michigan, choosing instead to build a future self-driving vehicle at the Detroit-area plant.
The Flat Rock, Mich. factory had been designated for production of an unidentified electric car. That vehicle will now be made at an existing Mexico facility.
The pivot comes several months after Ford made a big splash by announcing plans to cancel a new factory in Mexico in a move widely viewed as a concession to President Trump, who has criticized automakers over foreign manufacturing.
The decision to place production of an autonomous vehicle at the Michigan plant is good news for the region, Ford spokesman Alan Hall said.
The net effect is hundreds of additional American jobs there, he said.
Still, AutoPacific analyst Dave Sullivan said the change suggests Ford is "a bit chaotic" following the appointment of a new CEO, Jim Hackett, to replace the ousted Mark Fields.
"Ford's plans seem to be a bit scattered these days," he said. "It wasn't too long ago Ford canceled plans to build a plant in Mexico. This is like plant musical chairs. I mean, they broke ground in Mexico and had to pay money to get out of contracts. So now we’re back to making cars in Mexico? It’s just a bit disconcerting from the outside looking in to see how many planned and unplanned announcements there are coming out of Ford this week."
The vehicle to be built in Michigan is said to be an entirely new model for Ford, a hybrid-electric autonomous vehicle.Source: USA Today