It would seem that Ford cannot make up its mind about Mexico. The company says it will now bring production of electric vehicles to Mexico after several changes in investment and manufacturing plans.
First, the company canceled its investment project for a new plant in San Luis Potosi in January 2017 that would build the new generation Focus originally manufactured in Michigan. Instead, the company established a US$700 million expansion plan for its Flat Rock, Michigan facility that would focus on the development of autonomous and electric new models.
Back then, the company said the Focus would still be manufactured in Mexico, just not in San Luis Potosi but in Ford’s plant in Hermosillo. In June 2017, however, Ford changed its mind again.
The company announced the new Focus would no longer be produced in Mexico but in China, following a cost reduction strategy that would save the company US$1 billion according to Joe Hinrichs, Ford’s Executive Vice President and President of Global Operations.
Now, Ford drops a new bomb announcing that a full-electric crossover originally meant for Flat Rock will be manufactured in Mexico at the company’s plant in Cuautitlan. Rather than focusing on both autonomous and electric technology, Flat Rock will become an “autonomous-vehicle center of excellence” according to Jim Hackett, Ford’s new CEO.
Meanwhile, production of electric cars with expected lower margins will take advantage of Mexico’s lower labor and production costs, opening up more space for autonomous-car production.
The first electric crossovers are projected to leave the Cuautitlan facility no later than 2020, becoming the first electric models to be mass-produced in the country.
The data used in this article was sourced from the Ford, El Financiero, Automotive News and The New York Times.