Ford to Move Electric SUV Production to Mexico

Ford Motor Co will begin testing its latest self-driving vehicle technology next year in at least one city but has not changed its plan to begin commercial production until 2021, the company said.

At the Flat Rock plant, Ford is boosting investment to $900 million from $700 million and adding 850 jobs.

Ford Motor plans to build a new electric vehicle in Mexico rather than in Michigan, choosing instead to build a future self-driving vehicle at the Detroit-area plant. Plus, if Ford had kept the EV in Flat Rock, that would have reportedly interfered with plans to expand the plant for autonomous vehicle production.

The news was celebrated by the incoming Trump administration, which claimed that it had convinced U.S. automakers to bring jobs home.

The net effect is hundreds of additional American jobs there, he said. Information on the vehicle itself is still sparse, but it's said to be a hybrid and built on an entirely new platform. Since it's cheaper to produce cars in Mexico, it makes sense to build the electric SUV there. In preparation for building its first autonomous vehicle, Ford reportedly plans to invest $200 million in the factory, as well as the $700 million it previously announced.

The report also states that part of the reason for Ford's decision is that electric vehicles currently have a comparatively low profit margin. So now we're back to making cars in Mexico? It won't shut down any U.S. production.

The automaker said on Thursday that it would test self-driving prototypes in various pilot programs with partners such as Lyft, the ride services company in which rival General Motors owns a minority stake, and Domino's Pizza. The automakers met with Vice President Mike Pence recently to express concerns about moving away from NAFTA.

  • Leon Brazil