Ford is canceling plans to build a new $1.6 billion factory in San Luis Potosi, Mexico, and will instead invest some of that money in a U.S. factory that will build new electric and autonomous vehicles.
Ford is investing $700 million to expand its Flat Rock assembly plant and hire 700 new workers to build self-driving and electric vehicles along with the Mustang and Lincoln Continental already produced at the Downriver site.
CEO Fields said Ford will invest $700 million in the Flat Rock plant to make hybrid, electric and autonomous vehicles. It will also hire around 700 workers starting in 2018. In announcing the Michigan expansion, Fields noted Trump's promise to make the U.S. more competitive by lowering taxes and easing regulations.
"This is a vote of confidence for president elect trump and some of the policies he may be pursuing," Fields at the plant today.
The company said last spring it would move production of the Ford Focus small car to the new plant from Michigan. Trump has repeatedly criticized the plan, and Ford was among the companies he threatened to hit with a 35% tariff on products made in Mexico and exported to the U.S.
Fields said he's not worried about the possibility of tariffs.
"I'm a strong believer that the right policies are going to prevail because we share the same aspirations that I think President-elect Trump does. We want a very strong U.S. economy," he said.
Workers lined up on the factory floor cheered the news. United Auto Workers Vice President Jimmy Settles, the union's chief negotiator for Ford, told workers he cried when he heard about the investment. Flat Rock, which employs around 3,200 people, was threatened with closure during the recession.
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