Ford to export Focus car from China to U.S. in 2019

Ford Motor Co will export the next-generation Focus compact car from China to North America in 2019, rather than from Mexico as earlier planned, the company said on Tuesday.

President of global operations, Joe Hinrichs said that the current Focus will be phased out of production in Wayne, Michigan in mid-2018. The Wayne plant will begin building a new Ranger compact truck in late 2018.

Ford said no U.S. jobs will be affected and it employs more U.S. hourly workers and builds more vehicles in the United States than any other automaker.

Hinrichs said the redesigned Focus for North America will be built at a joint-venture plant in Chongqing, China. Earlier this year, Ford canceled plans for a new $1.8-billion small-car plant in San Luis Potosi, Mexico and said it would build the new Focus instead at an existing plant in Hermosillo.

According to Hinrichs The decision to shift from Hermosillo to Chongqing, where Ford has an existing Focus plant, was made over the last couple months and will save the automaker $500 million in tooling costs.

Ford also said some future variants of the new Focus will be shipped later from Europe.

U.S. President Donald Trump had criticized Ford for shifting small-car production from the United States to Mexico. Hinrichs said Ford planned to inform the White House this morning. Hinrichs said Ford remains a major exporter to China, shipping about 80,000 vehicles a year from North America.

General Motors Co has been exporting Buick and Cadillac cars from China to the United States, as has Volvo Cars, a unit of Chinese automaker Geel.

Source : Reuters

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