Ford moving electric SUV production from MI to Mexico

Marco Green
December 7, 2017

While President Trump won't be happy about Ford's decision to move production to Mexico, Ford does say that the decision to build the autonomous vehicle in MI will see it invest $200 million in the Flat Rock plant. Now Ford has announced that production of the new electric SUV is shifting from its plant in Flat Rock, Michigan to Mexico so that it can produce an autonomous vehicle in Michigan. "It's not like they're not putting money into the U.S". Ford has since confirmed it has adjusted production plans to move the new crossover to Mexico.

All the major automakers make some of their cars for the US market in Mexico, and all depend on Mexican parts suppliers for cars built at USA plants. Ford is actually injecting an additional $200 million capital investment into Flat Rock to accelerate autonomous vehicle plans. The autonomous vehicle is expected to debut in 2021.

Likewise, moving the electric crossover to the company's Cuautitlan, Mexico plant will likely enhance already-low margins on the vehicle. GM plans to launch its automated driving services with a heavily modified Chevrolet Bolt EV, demonstrated last week on the streets of San Francisco.

The company, along with every other automaker, is making a major push into self-driving vehicle technology.

Ford will build its next generation all-electric auto in Mexico, rather than at the plant in MI where it promised to build it. But it also entails the risk that the Trump administration could put steep taxes on new cars built in Mexico as it seeks to renegotiate the NAFTA trade deal. The automaker will begin testing the vehicle in an unnamed city next year.

"Next year will be an important time for us as we begin to test both our self-driving technology and business model in a variety of pilot programs in the first city in which we plan to operate an autonomous vehicle business", wrote Jim Farley, Ford's executive vice president and president of global markets, in a recent blog post. "We'll move people and goods".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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