Ford Motor Co (F.N) said it will cancel a planned $1.6 billion factory in Mexico and indtead invest about $700 million at a Michigan factory.
Ford’s CEO Mark Fields said that the decision to cancel the new Mexico factory was because of the sagging demand for small cars in North America and has nothing with Trump got elected as president. He further told Fox Business that they would have made the same decision even if Trump had not been elected.
Fields said that Ford will build battery electric SUVs with about 300-miles driving range at the Michigan plant by the year 2020 — taking on companies like Tesla Motors Inc (TSLA.O), Volkswagen AG (VOWG_p.DE) and GM — and will start production of a fully autonomous vehicles without steering wheel or a brake pedal for use in ride services fleets by 2021.
Ford also plans to build new hybrid versions of its F-150 pickup truck, Mustang and police vehicles by the year 2020 as the auto industry faces rising fuel efficiency mandates.
Ford will add 700 jobs at the Flat Rock plant, Fields added, to cheers from union workers gathered at the factory for the announcement.