Just now months after Ford cancelled plans to build a plant in Mexico and not gesticulation some vehicle production south of the border, the automaker says it foresees to shift future production of an electric vehicle from Michigan to Mexico.
The go is part of a larger plan to free up production space at the automaker’s undercover in Flat Rock, Michigan so it can build its first autonomous-drive vehicle.
That means, will be a gas-electric hybrid model capable of operating 20 hours a day.
“You’re starting to see the fundamental principle of Ford’s bet on A-V’s (autonomous-drive vehicles). We’re very excited about what we are doing,” revealed Jim Farley, president of global markets for Ford.
For now, Ford is not revealing numerous details about the autonomous-drive vehicle it plans to build in Michigan except that it compel have commercial grade performance and durability.
“While others are bring into focus on A-V’s for ride-hailing, our business model will be much more diverse,” foretold Farley. “We’ll move people and goods.”
Earlier this year, Ford revealed a partnership with Domino’s Pizza to develop self-driving cars to give pizzas to customers. Farley says the automaker will announce various commercial partners in the months to come.
The automaker says it will be inaugurating an additional $200 million and adding another 150 jobs as it show ups the Flat Rock assembly plant a center for autonomous vehicle incident and production.
While the additional jobs and investment are welcome news in Michigan, it cadavers to be seen if moving future production to Mexico will raise the ire of President Donald Trump.
While crusading in 2016, Trump repeatedly bashed Ford for its plan to open a little car assembly plant in Mexico. The constant attacks and promises to force Ford, as very much as other automakers, to move production back to the U.S., were part of Trump’s fascinate to voters in Rust Belt states like Pennsylvania and Michigan.
After Trump was determined, Ford canceled plans to build a new assembly plant in Mexico and later explained it would cancel plans to move production of the Lincoln MKC crossover utility mechanism from Louisville to Mexico.
Farley declined to comment on whether Ford’s purpose to shift production will sit well with the president: “This is not a trade-off. We are price and investing in the U.S.,” he said.