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28 Mar, 2017 21:26

Ford invests $1.2bn in Michigan auto plants as Trump tweets ‘Jobs! Jobs! Jobs!’

Ford invests $1.2bn in Michigan auto plants as Trump tweets ‘Jobs! Jobs! Jobs!’

Ford has announced that it will create 130 jobs when it invests $1.2 billion in Michigan auto plants. The investment follows contract negotiations with the United Auto Workers almost two years ago.

President Donald Trump tweeted before the official announcement, saying “car companies are coming back to the US even though a Ford executive said the plant investments were planned long before Trump took office.

“Big announcement by Ford today. Major investment to be made in three Michigan plants. Car companies coming back to U.S. JOBS! JOBS! JOBS!," the president tweeted.

White House adviser Kellyanne Conway also weighed in on Twitter, “Two weeks after @POTUS met with auto execs… Ford plans ‘significant’ investment in 3 plants.”

Ford will allocate $850 million to reviving the Bronco and Ranger lines, $200 million to another facility that builds Mustangs, and $150 million to an engine plant, the company announced.

The majority of the investment was known by Ford workers before voters cast their ballots on November 8. The package was agreed between Ford and the United Auto Workers union nearly two years ago.

“This plan was in place at least in 2015, when the last UAW contract was negotiated,” Michelle Krebs, an analyst for Autotrader.com told New York Daily News.

The news comes less than two weeks after Trump met with auto executives in Michigan and spoke of his aims to roll back auto regulations. The president hinted then that a major announcement would be forthcoming.

Ford and UAW clearly credited their 2015 labor agreement.

“Thanks to collective bargaining, the hard-working men, and women at each of these locations will now reap the full fruits of their labor,” UAW-Ford Vice President Settles said in a statement.

During a briefing at the White House on Tuesday, spokesman, Sean Spicer, was asked about Trump accepting political credit for the announcement.

“I’ll leave it up to Ford to make that determination,” Spicer told reporters. “I think that we’re obviously pleased with more Americans getting jobs throughout various sectors, and I think that we’ll continue and the president has made it very clear that he continues to fight to bring back jobs and manufacturing here in the country.”

Ford promised in the contract to invest $9 billion in US plants over a four-year period ending in 2019, with about $1.2 billion earmarked for three Michigan facilities, according to the Detroit News.

Ford, in January, scuttled plans for a $1.6 billion facility in Mexico to move production of the Focus sedan. Even though plant construction was called off, the company said production of the Focus would still move south of the border. While Ford executives said a pro-business White House and Congress was a factor, they maintained Trump’s attacks on the company weren’t a factor.

The decision was because people weren’t buying many sedans —instead going for SUVs and small trucks, executives said at the time, according to the New York Daily News.