“The next-generation Ford Focus will be built in China and exported for sale in the U.S., Ford Motor Co. said Tuesday, abandoning a plan to build the small car in Mexico. Production of the new car is scheduled to begin in 2019,” writes Bill Chappell in their recent NPR article entitled “Ford Shifts Focus (Again): Car Will Be Imported To U.S. From China, Not Mexico.”
According to Chappell, “Ford says the move will save it $1 billion in investment costs and will make it "a more operationally fit company." It also promises that "no U.S. hourly employees will be out of a job" because of the move to China.”
A more operationally fit company? Now, we’re interested in this recent development.
“Ford is coming off a record year in China, having sold 1.27 million vehicles there in 2016 — a 14 percent gain over 2015. That figure includes vehicles made in China by Ford's joint ventures, as well as Ford and Lincoln imports. When it opened its sixth assembly plant in China back in 2015, Ford said it could build 1.4 million vehicles a year in the country,” the article continues.
The NPR piece continues that “For Mexico, this is the second dramatic shift from Ford in 2017. The new Focus originally was to be built in the central state of San Luis Potosi, but the company canceled construction of a $1.6 billion plant there in January.”
“Back in November, Ford's then-CEO Mark Fields said the company would move forward with a plan to build the Focus in Mexico. But under new CEO Jim Hackett, that plan has changed again,” Chappell explains.
Ford, being a large corporation, got our attention with this shift.