Ford Motor Co. is changing its gears again in its production plans in Mexico, revealing that it now plans to build a small electric utility vehicle south of the border instead of a Michigan factory.
Sending the electric vehicle to Mexico, where labor costs are lower, will help justify the business because of the expensive model. He also runs the risk of provoking the wrath of President Donald Trump, who had been harsh critical of a previous Ford plan to build a small automobile factory in Mexico that the company finally canceled.
The moving production of SUV electricity to Mexico will allow the automaker to boost the production of autonomous vehicles at its factory in Flat Rock, Michigan, according to plans revealed late Wednesday. The Wall Street Journal reported the news from Mexico before.
Ford is increasing its investment by $ 200 million and adding 150 more jobs to the Michigan plant as part of the change, said Mark Truby, the company's communications chief, in an email. The car without a driver will debut in 2021.
The SUV to be built in Mexico from 2020 will travel 300 miles on a single charge and is the centerpiece of a [$19659011] planned $ 4.5 thousand Millions of Ford alignment review to add 13 electric or hybrid models. Ford has been seen by Wall Street as playing catching up with rivals like Tesla Inc. and General Motors Co., which already sells the battery-powered Chevy Bolt and plans to present robot taxis at 2019.
Ford's new chief executive, Jim Hackett, has been accelerating the automaker's automotive and electric movements, while announcing $ 14 billion in cost cuts to improve what he calls "fitness" " of the company. Mark Fields as CEO at May, one of Hackett's first steps was to change a plan to make the small Focus car in Mexico to one of the automaker's plants in China.
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The driverless car that Ford will build in Michigan will be a commercial vehicle designed specifically for courier services and delivery, Jim Farley, executive vice president of global markets, I wrote in a medium publication on Wednesday. The automaker will begin testing the car in an unnamed city next year.
"Next year will be an important moment for us as we will begin to test our technology and automatic driving business model in a variety of pilot programs in the first year, the city in which we plan to operate a self-driving business" wrote Farley. Ford's autonomous business "will serve leading companies, such as Lyft, in the movement of people and goods."
Read more: Ford looks beyond Lyft as liaison with GM in the rare common link