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article imageOp-Ed: Ford Mexico plant cancellation not really what it seems

By Karen Graham     Jan 4, 2017 in Business
Ford Motor Company has learned to keep its mouth shut and just let President-elect Trump take the credit for stuff it was going to do anyway. Now Trump is claiming he is responsible for Ford's cancellation of a Mexico assembly plant on Tuesday. Really?
Ford's cancellation of the $1.6 billion assembly plant in San Luis Potosi, Mexico on Tuesday was being hailed by some people as another victory for Donald Trump. He had called the announced move an "absolute disgrace" during the election campaign.
In April, Ford Motors announced it was moving small car production to Mexico as a cost-saving measure. And according to NBC News, the Tuesday announcement reversing the decision on the San Luis Potosi plant will not change the central decision the company announced last April.
Production of the Focus compact car will still move to Mexico, but to an existing plant in Hermosillo. And while Ford will use some of the savings, about $700 million, from the planned Mexico plant to expand its Flat Rock, Michigan plant, it seems the expansion was going to happen anyway.
Actually, the expansion of the Michigan plant will allow Ford to make its new electric, hybrid and autonomous vehicles there. Ford will also reimburse San Luis Potosi state for any costs associated with its investment and cancellation of the assembly plant, according to Reuters. Ford CEO Mark Fields said he expects Michigan to give the company incentives for Ford's investment in Flat Rock.
Joe Hinrichs, Ford's president of the Americas, said falling demand for small cars was the main reason behind the shift, plus, falling sales figures just didn't justify spending money on a new plant. Hinrichs also said Trump was not in the loop while the decision to abandon the Mexico plant was being made.
Trump claimed a victory in November for keeping a Ford assembly plant in Kentucky and not moving it to Mexico, and like the November story, Trump's claim of victory in this latest Ford announcement has a lot missing.
In this time of fake news and half-truths claiming to be news, it is sad that President-elect Trump and his advisers are becoming part of the problem and not the solution. Bragging about his responsibility for something he had nothing to do with is actually going to hurt his image in the long run.
Mr. Trump should stick to the business at hand of taking over the reins as president of this country instead of wasting his time in Tweeting half-truths that are taken as the "gospel truth" by most of the general public.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
More about Ford Motors, mexico assembly plant, Donald trump, michigan plant, General motors
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