Ford shifts Focus production to China 0

In a radical change of plans, Ford has decided to shift production of its Focus small car from the proposed site in Mexico, to an alternative plant in China.

The company still intends to move production out of the US entirely, but the planned switch south of the Mexican border has now been abandoned.

The alteration to the proposed production plans was announced by the Detroit based carmaker in June; the relocation to Asia is unlikely to do much in the way of placating Donald Trump – the US President was highly vocal in his derision of the plans during last year’s election campaign.

Ford has said that switching the production location from Mexico to China will save a reported $500m.

Michelle Krebs, of Autotrader.com, said of the move: “Small car sales are going down around the world so I think you are going to see a lot of car companies consolidating small car production. And they are going to do it in low cost environments because the profit margins are nil.”

Ford had reported a fall in US Focus sales by as much as 20% in the first quarter of 2017, compared to the same period last year. The company’s other modes of vehicle fared significantly better in the same market however, the F-Series pick-up truck meanwhile posted a 8.5% increase in sales.

Joe Hinrichs, Ford President of Global Operations, said in a statement: “Finding a more cost-effective way to deliver the next Focus programme in North America is a better plan, allowing us to redeploy the money we save into areas of growth for the company – especially sports utilities, commercial vehicles, performance vehicles as well as mobility, autonomous vehicles and electrified vehicles.”

This move comes as President Trump is preparing to open talks to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement.

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