Ford small cars production moving out of US to Mexico

Mark Fields, President & CEO, Ford Motor Company, speaks at the Los Angeles Auto Show in Los Angeles, California, U.S. November 15, 2016. © Lucy Nicholson
Ford’s small cars are about to become a product of Mexico following the announcement that production will shift out of the US. However, the carmaker maintains that “two very important products” will continue to be produced in US factories.

Ford Motors CEO Mark Fields announced that they would be moving forward on relocating small car production to Mexico, despite President-elect Donald Trump’s promises to impose tariffs on vehicles made outside of the US.

"We’re going forward with our plan to move production of the Ford Focus to Mexico, and importantly that’s to make room for two very important products we’ll be putting back into Michigan plants," Fields told Reuters.

Fields did not elaborate on what the “two very important products” would be. However, he insisted “there will be no job impact whatsoever with this move.” He blamed the need to move production on low gasoline prices, which may coax some consumers into buying larger cars that use more fuel.

As a result, "it's very difficult for us to be able to make money on a vehicle produced in the US" in the small car segment, he said. How that will stand up to Trump’s promises to place a 35 percent tariff on cars and trucks imported from Mexico remains to be seen, but Fields has made pleas to Trump to reconsider the plan.

"A tariff like that would be imposed on the entire auto sector, and that could have a huge impact on the US economy," Fields told USA Today.

Fields acknowledged that he had spoken with Trump’s transition team and had congratulated the president-elect, but also hopes to work with him to undo climate-friendly regulations on cars. For example, a group representing Ford allegedly asked the transition team to review regulations over fuel economy standards, Reuters reported.