Ford does an about-face — Moves EV manufacturing to Mexico

Posted Dec 7, 2017 by Karen Graham
Ford Motor Company has taken everyone by surprise, announcing it now plans to build a small electric-powered sports utility vehicle in Mexico instead of at its Michigan factory. The Flat Rock plant is being revamped to produce autonomous vehicles.
The Ford 2018  Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid.
The Ford 2018 Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid.
Ford Motors
According to Alan Hall, a Ford spokesman, the Detroit-area plant that was set up to manufacture EVs is being revamped to produce the first autonomous vehicle in Michigan. Hall says this will also create hundreds of additional jobs, according to the Detroit Free Press.
Sending manufacture of the electric SUV to Mexico where labor is less costly will help Ford's business case, but is expected to not sit well with President Donald Trump who has been very critical of any automotive companies farming out production to foreign countries.
Mark Truby, the company’s communications chief, said in an email to Bloomberg that Ford is investing an additional $200 million and adding 150 jobs as part of the plan. The autonomous vehicle is expected to debut in 2021.
Ford uses Microsoft HoloLens to help its designers be more efficient
Ford uses Microsoft HoloLens to help its designers be more efficient
Microsoft / Ford
However, the move appears to be in line with a move by Ford in October, in investing in the Silicon Valley start-up firm Autonomic Inc. The company's software provides services useful to autonomous ride-hailing businesses, including networked data streams between vehicles and operators.
Ford’s new chief executive officer, Jim Hackett, has been pushing the company's move into EVs and autonomous vehicles, especially after being viewed as playing catch-up to rivals such as Tesla Inc. and General Motors Co. Hackett has already announced $14 billion in cost cuts to improve Ford's "fitness," as he calls it.
The autonomous vehicle being built in the Flat Rock plant will be a commercial vehicle "specifically designed for ride-hailing and delivery services," Jim Farley, executive vice president of global markets wrote in a Medium post Wednesday.